Braddon, Mary Elizabeth

  • Anne-Marie BellerEmail author
Living reference work entry


Mary Elizabeth Braddon was one of the most commercially successful women novelists of the nineteenth century. She was immensely prolific, publishing more than 80 novels, as well as short stories, essays, and plays over her 55-year writing career. During the 1860s, Braddon was at the center of the fierce debate over sensation fiction, of which she was a key proponent. Her bestselling sensation novel, Lady Audley’s Secret (1862), became archetypal of the genre, bringing Braddon fame and notoriety in equal measure. For the rest of her career, despite publishing in many other genres, she remained in the public imagination “the author of Lady Audley’s Secret.”


Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s life was unconventional in many respects. She was born in Soho, London, on 4th October 1835. Her parents separated when Braddon was only 4 years old, due to her father’s erratic financial affairs and alleged adultery. Spurred by the need to support herself and her mother, as a...


Biography Belgravia Magazine Bigamy Charlotte Brontë Wilkie Collins Crime Detective fiction Realism George Eliot French literature Gender roles Ghost stories Lady Audley’s Secret Literary histories Marriage John Maxwell Novel Margaret Oliphant Periodicals Plays Sensation Novels Short story Social class Supernatural Victorian literature the Woman Question Mrs. Henry Wood 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Loughborough UniversityLoughboroughUK

Section editors and affiliations

  • Emily Morris
    • 1
  1. 1.St. Thomas More CollegeUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada