Monsters & Madness

Secret Lives in Victorian Literature

Focusing on Similarities and Differences in Lady Audley’s Secret and The Hound of the Baskervilles

In this book, we immediately find an acquaintance in the narrator. The reader knows by inference and dialogue (though he does not directly introduce himself) that the narrator is Dr. Watson. Holmes talks directly to Dr. Watson, the narrator, and Dr. Watson responds, and frequently refers to himself as well as his actions. This is the first difference between The Hound of the Baskervilles and Lady Audley’s Secret. In this book, we as readers have a more direct relationship with Dr. Watson as a narrator.

Secondly, this book differs from Lady Audley’s Secret in its descriptions in general. In Lady Audley’s Secret, the descriptions of even simple objects (such as letters) are long, drawn out, and elaborate. Descriptions in The Hound of the Baskervilles are detailed and intriguing, however, they are not as whimsical, or tied to moments of emotion in the text. In Lady Audley’s Secret, the more important and emotionally-tied an object or a person was, the longer and more elaborate the description. (Such as many descriptions of Lady Audley, for instance).

These two superficial differences are the first noticeable when beginning to read.


1 Comment

  1. Readersknowbest

    October 3, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    I think that what made Lady Audley’s Secret a good sensational novel is that we never knew who the narrator was and it was a question that kept the readers on the edge of their seat. It is interesting how perspectives shift when you are aware of who the narrator is. I think the way you read the novel changes and the ideas you have matches the voice of the narrator. Watson is a great narrator and his voice is important due to his close relation with the case, and the fact that he is the right hand man of Holmes. However, I wonder how the story would have been if we read it with an anonymous author’s voice or even a different character in the novel.

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