“The likeness which the lady’s-maid bore to Lucy Audley was, perhaps, a point of sympathy between the two women. It was not to be called a striking likeness; a stranger might have seen them both together, and yet have failed to remark it. But there were certain dim and shadowy lights in which, meeting Phœbe Marks gliding softly through the dark oak passages of the Court, or under the shrouded avenues in the garden, you might have easily mistaken her for my lady.” (Braddon 108)
Lady Audley and Phoebe bare slight resemblance to each other and can be mistaken for one another in the dark. Both blonde women come from similar financial backgrounds, but one is now higher in society than the other. Phoebe is more than just Lady Audley’s maid; Phoebe is Lady Audley’s go-to for gossiping, reading and discussing books, and completing the Lady’s mysterious tasks. The association of dimmed lighting, shadows, and darkness with Lady Audley and Phoebe’s relationship infers the type of mysterious relationship the two share.
I believe that sometimes Phoebe may pretend to be Lady Audley in the dark hours while Lady Audley is away doing other things. Lady Audley asks Phoebe, “Do you know, Phoebe, I have heard some people say you and I look alike?” (Braddon 60). Lady Audley claims Phoebe to be a paler, less colorful version of herself and that with a “pot of rogue,” Phoebe could “be as good-looking” as Lady Audley “any day” (Braddon 60). During the day, Lady Audley is colorful; but, in the night, dark and pale imagery describes Lady Audley’s face and surroundings. Sir Michael recalls looking at Lucy the previous night and seeing her “poor white face and the purple rims round your (Lady Audley’s) hollow eyes. I (Sir Michael) has almost a difficult to recognize my little wife in that ghastly, terrified agonised-looking creature” (Braddon 78). With following day, the sun returned Lucy’s “rosy cheeks and bright smile” (Braddon 78). Does nighttime turn Lady Audley into a ghostly figure or is it possible that it was Phoebe in Lady Audley’s bed?
Language within this passage displays the deceit that lives in “the two women(‘s)” relationship (Braddon 108). The illusion to dark imagery using phrases such as “dim and shadowy,” “shrouded avenues,” “dark oak passages,” and “mistaken” reveal the evil, fear, and mystery that lies within Lady Audley and Phoebe’s relationship (Braddon 108-09). Lady Audley’s interest in retaining a relationship with her ghostly twin rests within the mischievous events that have happened at Audley Court.