"Could someone else's hand have sawn that trunk and dragged the frame away?": Laudy Audley's Secret as a revision of Homer's Odyssey

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1994
Authors
Rybak, Charles
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English
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English
Abstract

Mary Elizabeth Braddon' s Lady Audley' s Secret (1861) is a novel that has been largely marginalized by the critical community. This marginalization is seen in the scarcity of articles dedicated to Braddon, and the tendency to quickly label her work as "detective" or "sensational" fiction. And while these generic elements are definitely worth recognizing, one needs to look no further than the Select Bibliography in the Oxford edition to find the pigeon hole Braddon' s work has been placed in. I believe that Braddon was working with much more artistic range than the "melodrama" she is given credit for, and that her elaborate use of classical myth is one of her overlooked achievements. Lady Audley's Secret not only illustrates Braddon's knowledge of Homer's Odyssey, but also her active restructuring of the epic and its male archetype.

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