Monsters & Madness

Secret Lives in Victorian Literature

A Noble Place (Blog Post #1)

One of the passages that I can’t seem to get out of my head is the description of the mansion on page 8. The first thing that I noticed was that it was a paragraph-long sentence. Braddon thought that it was necessary to take up this much room on a page in one sentence describing this place. Definitely something to be noted. This led me to believe that this is a critical point in the book, and not just because it was describing the main setting of the story. When I read this passage I felt like Braddon was trying to let us in on a secret. A phrase that caught my eye was, “…a house in which you incontinently lost yourself if ever you were so rash as to go about it alone.” (Braddon 8). In this phrase, I got the sense that there was just something different about the mansion. But then I thought, maybe she wasn’t talking about the mansion. Maybe she was foreshadowing about an incident later to be explained, where someone wandered the house alone and something happened to them. In this incredible amount of detail, she uses mysterious words like, “incontinently,” “rash,” and “chambers.” I brought up “chambers” because it sounds more mysterious and secretive than, “room.” All these words lead me to believe that this place is just plain creepy! No wonder it is the setting for a mystery novel. In a sense, this passage sets up the entire novel. It sets the tone for a mysterious, secretive, and sensational story.

2 Comments

  1. solongandthanksforallthefish

    September 26, 2018 at 3:58 am

    Good post, I find it highly intriguing that the mansion is described in such a peculiar manner, where the entire tone of the novel is seemingly defined in this passage. The mysterious, horror movie with roots in gothic fiction type description make the mansion a chilling place, and establish a theme where initial appearances are not true depictions of what might actually be there, a cover for the truth if you will. This comes up in areas like Lady Audley’s true nature, where she is not what she seems at all, being elegant on the outside but a horror on the inside.

    • When I read this passage, it jumped out at me too. Braddon does an amazing painting a picture of how Audley Court can look so majestic but like you said so “creepy” at the same time. This small paragraph really did foreshadow all of the lies, deceit, blackmail, and even murder that was going to take place here. Now that we have read more of the novel do you Braddon could be comparing Audley Court to Lady Audley. Both come across as very grand and beautiful, but both have a lot to hide?

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