Mary Elizabeth Braddon's classic sensation novel, which combines drama, shock and mystery is published here in its entirety.
The novel opens with the wedding of the enchantingly beautiful Lucy Graham to Sir Michael Audley, who - while older than Lucy - is a kind, wealthy and gentlemanly character. However, suspicions about the new Lady Audley soon arise; a portrait bearing her likeness, and a set of letters she is eager to keep hidden, spurs the curiosity and investigations of the lawyer Robert Audley who is nephew to Michael.
A mysterious sequence of events unfurls, as Robert undertakes the role of detective. Wondering whether Lady Audley is who she says she is, his suspicions take him to London, where he incrementally pieces together a frightening, revelatory puzzle. As the history of Lady Audley is gradually laid bare, the principle foundations of the family are shaken to their very depths.
Published in 1862 at the height of the sensation book craze, Lady Audley's Secret is important for illustrating the domestic situation in a upper middle class Victorian household. That such a situation relies upon the integrity of all those with regards to the morality of the period made the sordid tale of Lady Audley potent for the era's readership. It has since been adapted for television and radio, with minor adaptations created for the stage.