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A Perfect Eel

Elaine Showalter: ‘Lady Audley’s Secret’

21 June 2012
Lady Audley’s Secret 
by Mary ElizabethBraddon, edited by Lyn Pykett.
Oxford, 448 pp., £9.99, January 2012, 978 0 19 957703 3
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... but Lady Audley’s Secret (1862), the biggest seller of them all, is a significant exception. Mary ElizabethBraddon was the most prolific of the sensationalists, publishing more than eighty novels, as well as poems, short stories and plays. She began to write at a time when the publishing market offered a wide ...

How did she get those feet?

Alice Spawls: The Female Detective

20 February 2014
The Notting Hill Mystery: The First Detective Novel 
by Charles Warren Adams.
British Library, 312 pp., £8.99, February 2012, 978 0 7123 5859 0
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The Female Detective: The Original Lady Detective 
by Andrew Forrester.
British Library, 328 pp., £8.99, October 2012, 978 0 7123 5878 1
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Revelations of a Lady Detective 
by William Stephens Hayward.
British Library, 278 pp., £8.99, February 2013, 978 0 7123 5896 5
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... Arsenic was plentiful. Life insurance in particular was feared and not without justification. Mary Ann Cotton managed to do away with three husbands, 15 children and stepchildren, her mother, a friend and her lover, claiming life insurance almost every time, before anyone thought something might be going on. Six of her children died in one year, but then ...

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