“She laughed aloud at his question. ‘I do not love any one in the world,’ she answered.”  (Braddon 17)


In this quote, from chapter one of Braddon’s Lady Audley’s Secret, Lucy Graham is replying in quite a peculiar way to Sir Michael’s question as to whom else she loves.  There are two parts that I find most intriguing in this quote.  The first is Lucy’s laugh that comes prior her reply.  When I imagine Lucy laughing, I hear it as more of a sarcastic laugh, as if she can hardly believe Sir Michael had even asked her such a question.  From the lines following this quote, it seems as though he hears this tone in the laugh as well.  The author could be using this as a helpful hint to the reader that Lucy is hiding something.  It is especially strange because one would typically not laugh about loving no one.  Michael is pleased by her answer, yet I believe this is where he first notices that there is something strange about the girl he admires.

The second part of this quote which caught my attention is in Lucy’s response where she claims to “not love any one in the world”.  I thought it was interesting how the author decided to use the spelling “any one” rather than “anyone”.  This tells me that Lucy is referring to any one person instead of just any person which could mean that Lucy has a specific person in mind who she had once loved but does no longer. I also believe there is some meaning behind her addition of “in the world”.  This small phrase places more emphasis on her response and makes me wonder if maybe Lucy is referring to not the actual world but a new world she is now living in.