There was not much in it; neither gold nor gems; only a baby’s little worsted shoe rolled up in a piece of paper, and a tiny lock of pale and silky yellow hair, evidently taken from a baby’s head. Phoebe’s eyes dilated as she examined the little packet. (Braddon, Project Gutenberg Online)
I noticed that this is our first encounter with what could be considered Lady Audley’s secret. Phoebe and Luke went snooping, and while Luke does not pay much attention to their findings other than what’s worth monetary value, Phoebe recognizes the significance of the little items hidden away in this little box. The descriptiveness of the items she found seems to be significant, as the shoe is described as “worsted”, which I can infer means it has been worn and is no longer usable, and the hair lock is described as pale and silky. As Lady Audley is originally decribed as unbelievably beautiful, it can not come as such a surprise that the hair that is found is silky and blonde, which were both beauty standards for this time. Another thing I noticed is that this little packet of emotionally important items was hidden away under gold and jewels, in a box that would be considered “important”. The shoe was also rolled up in paper, meant to be hidden even more than normally. There is repetition in the words little and tiny, giving significance to the magnitude of the items, as while they may be small physically, they mean a lot emotionally. Finding this box so early on in the novel can be seen as significant, as it may be foreshadowing to this secret eventually getting out or Lady Audley being questioned about a former life in which she was a part of. What I’m really trying to say here is that I think these lines will end up being extremely significant in the overall plot of this novel (which spoiler alert; they are!). A hidden secret found at the end of a chapter in a manner where someone was doing what they were not supposed to be is the definition of a set up for a larger plot in this story. These lines will prove to be either the downfall of Lady Audley and her new husband, a shameful moment in Lady Audley’s past, or a past life in which things were better for Lady Audley, something she keeps locked away in order to reminisce on (we all do this, think old birthday cards or letters from a former significant other).