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Lady Audley's Secret

Narrated by: Olivia Poulet
Length: 13 hrs and 11 mins

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Publisher's Summary

Summary

From the author of The Christmas Hirelings comes this Audible Exclusive production of Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s classic sensation novel Lady Audley’s Secret. English actress Olivia Poulet gives an assured and captivating narration; a cornerstone of the genre and a scandal at the time of its publication, Lady Audley’s Secret is an entertaining and shocking tale of high drama and shifting perceptions. Finding herself at the centre of an investigation into the disappearance of a local man, the beautiful yet mysterious Lady Audley must use all her deceit and cunning to prevent the truth being discovered. 

About the book

Published in 1862, Lady Audley’s Secret is one of Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s most successful and well-known pieces of work. A founding text of the sensation novel genre, it delivers high drama with mystery, intrigue and plot twists aplenty. Comfortable in her place as a Lady of Audley Court, the beautiful and enchanting Lucy Graham soon finds her status brought into question following the disappearance of a man recently returned from Australia. As the hunt for the missing man intensifies, the threads of Lady Audley’s story begin to unravel, and our antiheroine must do all she can to prevent her past from catching up with her. Playing on Victorian anxieties about the domestic sphere and social mobility, Lady Audley’s Secret was a scandal for its Victorian audience. Its engrossing secrets and startling revelations continue to shock and entertain to this day.

About the Author

Mary Elizabeth Braddon was a popular English author who earned success in the Victorian era with her sensation novels. Born in London in 1835, she was raised by her mother, Fanny, after her parents’ separation. As a teenager Mary first began working as an actress, but after eight years, and with declining popularity and waning interest, she instead turned to writing. Her prolific output resulted in over 80 novels and 150 short stories as well as plays and articles. Braddon is best known for her novel Lady Audley’s Secret, which combines elements of the detective novel, the psychological thriller and the romantic comedy to become one of the most successful novels of the 19th century.

About the Narrator

Olivia Poulet is an English actress and screenwriter who made her acting debut in 2001 in episodes of Teachers and The Bill. Born in London in 1978, Olivia attended Putney High School before becoming a drama graduate of Manchester University. With appearances in film and on radio and stage, she is best known for her work on television, starring in the multi-award-winning British shows Outnumbered, The Thick of It, Sherlock and Holby City.

Public Domain (P)2019 Audible, Ltd

What members say

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Susan
  • 2019-08-20

Classic 19th Century “sensation novel”

Written over 150 years ago - get that straight up front. What does this mean?
1. It’s long. Really long. Lots of detail and internal monologue. No tv - instead of eagerly awaiting the next installment of a favorite show, readers waited for the next installment of a novel. And as we do with our favorite shows, they didn’t want it to end. Relax. Enjoy the ride.
2. Don’t expect 21st Century views on women, class, or anything else. In fact, the author was unconventional in her time. She was unable to marry the man with whom she lived until his legal wife, who was (shades of Jane Eyre!) in an insane asylum, finally died.

About the book: Slow start (pretty slow throughout) but if you like the Bronte sisters, you’ll enjoy this. A melodrama of love, friendship, betrayal, dysfunctional families, disparity between classes, and lots of mystery - and what exactly IS Lady Audley’s secret?

The narrator has exactly the right voice for an 1860 novel.

20 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • Rockin' Senior
  • 2019-08-20

Oh, the language

This story unfolds very slowly. It was a feast for my ears. My son reminded me that books written when this was were read aloud. I’m so glad I listened instead of reading it on my own. The tenacity of the hero who wouldn’t give up seeking the answer to his friend’s disappearance was touching. It was a different time and place. I’m so glad I listened.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • DGB Exton
  • 2019-08-24

very good read

This is not my standard fare., usually sci fi and fantasy. I decided to try something different. it was a really engaging read I stayed up too late. I spent extra time at the gym. Very entertaining.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • LCOC
  • 2019-08-27

Read too fast

Very good story and I will listen to other books by this author but the narration was extremely rushed. Luckily the story saved itself. I tried to slow it to .75 but it didn’t sound right.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Historygal777
  • 2019-08-21

Delightful

I admit it took me awhile to get into the book-I rewound it 6 or 7 times. But once I became familiar with the cadence of the narrator it was very interesting.

Admittedly, it was written over a century ago but it was a good mystery and even when you think it's about to wrap up, as you know "who done it" you discover you don't know everything.

I'm glad I bought the book.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • bebe
  • 2019-09-02

A story of lies, deceit and betrayal

This is a really cool book. Even though it is much different type of story, the writing and mood reminds me of Jane Eyre, Rebecca, and Dickens work. I love the old language, the sense of honor of true gentlemen, the glamour of the aristocracy and the patience of the downtrodden servants. This book has it all. The story sucked me in from the beginning. The main strength, however, is the host of characters. The main protagonist, in my opinion, is Robert Audley. His uncle, Michael Audley the Baronet of Audley Court is also a protagonist, but Robert is more intriguing to me. The uncle is a more tragic figure. George Tallboys is another main male character. He is a friend of Robert's from Eton. Robert, or Bob as he is often called, is a very laid back barrister that does not ever practice being a barrister. He is kind, funny, honorable, and a true gentleman. George Tallboys is a tragic figure. George is strong, determined, brave and devoted to the people he loves. He is returning from Australia a rich man after struggling near death in Australia to make a fortune to appease his wife, Helen, the love of his live. George can't wait to see his wife and lavish her with his new found wealth.

Sir Audley of Audley Hall is in his fifties and is newly married to the poor but beautiful very young former governess of the local doctor. Her name is Lucy and he is totally besotted with her. As his wife, Lucy is lavished with riches beyond her wildest dreams. However, Lady Lucy Audley has a secret that can destroy them all.

The narrator is okay, but not special. In fact I switched over to the Kindle version of the book about half way through and ended up enjoying reading the book more than listening to it. Seeing and reading the beautiful writing was fantastic. The author was a very talented wordsmith and storyteller. She is wonderful at creating vivid characters that I could love or hate. I really enjoyed this book and will read it again, or maybe relisten to parts.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Dragonflygirl
  • 2019-08-24

Jam packed with story, very entertaining

Some reviews complained that there was no mystery to solve, no whodunit... there isn't supposed to be. This book is about the people and circumstances, not the event itself. There is a surprise and the ending tied everything up very well. The ending can make or break a book for me, this one was nicely done. It's rich with narrative and imagery, a joy to read. The narrator is fantastic.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-08-20

A welcomed surprise

Very well written I felt like I had gone back in time.... loved the narrator. I truly enjoyed this book.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Celeste Albers
  • 2019-08-18

A Victorian Sensation

I enjoyed this book very much!
At the beginning I feared for the narration but as the story progressed Ms Poulet proved to be a delightful voice for this tale. She did best with dialogue versus narration but was overall terrific.
There was just enough intrigue and romance to keep me interested. The plot twists and character development progressed at a good pace but with the typical Victorian navel gazing.
Lady Audley’s actual secret contained many surprising layers which unfolded in such a charming manner. I found myself completely absorbed.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Adam
  • 2019-08-15

Couldn't finish

The narrator is taking this audible breaths between each sentence... I could not concentrate on the story. Had to return this book.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful