THE CHRISTMAS HIRELINGS
AND
FIFTY YEARS OF NOVEL WRITING:
MISS BRADDON AT HOME

BY
Mary Elizabeth Braddon
Edited and With an Introduction by Katherine Mattacks

Condemned in the 1860s as a purveyor of immoral sensation fiction, by the time The Christmas Hirelings (1894) was published Mary Elizabeth Braddon was a widely respected novelist. Braddon described The Christmas Hirelings as 'a story about children, which should be interesting for grown-up people.'

A story of disinheritance and redemption, Sir John Penlyon is reluctantly persuaded to invite three small children, 'The Christmas Hirelings,' to his country mansion for the Christmas holidays. Sir John is an austere widower, who has lost one daughter and disinherited the other after she eloped with a man of a lower class, but the arrival of the children gradually leads him to reconsider his past actions towards his family.

In her introduction Katherine Mattacks discusses how Braddon explores and utilises elements from her own sensation novels within The Christmas Hirelings.

The volume concludes with a rare 1911 interview with Braddon, in which she discusses her life, career, sensation fiction, and her interest in literature in other languages.

Katherine Mattacks wrote her Ph.D thesis on Braddon. Her paper, 'The Act of Writing: Braddon and the actress in Hostages to Fortune, was presented at the Braddon conference held at the University of London in 2000.

The Christmas Hirelings is reprinted unabridged from the first edition published in 1894.

This edition is limited to 200 copies.


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