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Murder & Mayhem: Victorian Sensation Novels

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East Lynne
by Ellen Wood Details
When the aristocratic Lady Isabel abandons her husband and children for her wicked seducer, more is at stake than moral retribution. Ellen Wood played upon the anxieties of the Victorian middle classes who feared a breakdown of the social order as divorce became more readily available and promiscuity threatened the sanctity of the family.
Great Expectations
by Charles Dickens Details
The orphan, Pip, and the convict, Magwitch, the beautiful Estella, and her guardian, the embittered and vengeful Miss Havisham, the ambitious lawyer, Mr. Jaggers - all have a part to play in the mystery. Dickens supplied two endings to his great novel, both are included in this book.Note: Many titles by this author adapt well for dramatic interpretation.
Series -
A Bantam classic
Lady Audley's Secret
by Mary Elizabeth Braddon Details
When beautiful young Lucy Graham accepts the hand of Sir Michael Audley, her fortune and her future look secure. But Lady Audley's past is shrouded in mystery, and Sir Michael's nephew Robert has vague forebodings. When Robert's good friend George Talboys suddenly disappears, he is determined to find him, and to unearth the truth. His quest reveals a tangled story of lies and deception, crime and intrigue, whose sensational twists turn the conventional picture of Victorian womanhood on its head. Can Robert's darkest suspicions really be true?
No Name
by Wilkie Collins Details
Magdalen and her sister Norah, beloved daughters of Mr and Mrs Vanstone, find themselves the victims of a catastrophic oversight. Their father has neglected to change his will, and when the girls are suddenly orphaned, their inheritance goes to their uncle. Now penniless, the conventional Norah takes up a position as a governess, but the defiant and tempestuous Magdalen cannot accept the loss of what is rightfully hers and decides to do whatever she can to win it back. With the help of cunning Captain Wragge, she concocts a scheme that involves disguise, deceit and astonishing self-transformation.
The Dead Secret
by Wilkie Collins Details
A mystery of unrelenting suspense and penetrating characterization, The Dead Secret explores the relationship between a fallen woman, her illegitimate daughter, and buried secrets in a superb blend of romance and Gothic drama.
The Mystery of Edwin Drood
by Charles Dickens Details
Edwin Drood is contracted to marry Orphan Rosa, but they break the engagement off-and soon afterwards Edwin disappears. Is it murder? And is his jealous uncle-a sinister choirmaster with a double life and designs on Rosa-the killer? Dickens died before completing the story, leaving the mystery unsolved and encouraging successive generations of readers to turn detective. In addition to its tantalizing crime, the novel also offers a characteristically Dickensian mix of the fantastical world of the imagination and a vibrantly journalistic depiction of gritty reality.
The Woman in White
by Wilkie Collins Details
Wilkie Collins's classic thriller took the world by storm on its first appearance in 1859. The novel's continuing fascination stems in part from a distinctive blend of melodrama, comedy, and realism; and in part from the power of its story. The catalyst for the mystery is Walter Hartright's encounter on a moonlit road with a mysterious woman dressed head to toe in white. Hartright soon learns that she may have escaped from an asylum and finds to his amazement that her story may be connected to that of the woman he secretly loves. Collins brilliantly uses the device of multiple narrators to weave a story in which no one can be trusted, and he also famously creates, in the figure of Count Fosco, the prototype of the suave, sophisticated evil genius.
Updated 11/04/2014

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