THE FATAL MARRIAGE AND
MARY ELIZABETH BRADDON
Edited and with an introduction by Chris Willis
This book brings together previously unknown and uncollected novellas and stories, written by Braddon for some of the most ephemeral magazines and newspapers of the period. All but two of the stories in this collection were unrecorded by Braddon's bibliographer, Robert Lee Wolff, and none have ever been reprinted from their original sources. These stories show Braddon's talent for writing stories of crime and mystery, but also explore issues raised in her most famous novels.
The collection includes the rare novella The Heart Knoweth, a sympathetic portrayal of a young girl driven to murder. Braddon has often been admired as one of the most talented Victorian writers of the supernatural, and her skills in this genre are represented by two stories, 'Herself' and 'The Winning Card.' Other stories include 'The True Story of Don Juan,' in which a libertine is punished by a sect of murderous monks, 'Poor Uncle Jacob' in which a nurse harbours murderous intent towards her patients, and 'Wild Justice' relates the vengeance exacted by a father against the seducer of his daughter. Three other stories, 'The Doll's Tragedy,' 'His Good Fairy,' and 'Sweet Simplicity,' contain echoes of Lady Audley's Secret with their themes of female madness and hidden depths concealed by china doll beauty.
The book concludes with a rare interview with Braddon, one of only a handful she ever gave, conducted by the novelist Joseph Hatton in 1888.
Please note: Shortly after this book was published, it was brought to our attention that the text of the first story in the collection, The Fatal Marriage, is identical to a story by Wilkie Collins; namely, A Marriage Tragedy, published in Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume XVI, February 1858, pp.334-357. This story was later rewritten by Collins and published as Brother Griffith's Tale of a Plot in Private Life in The Queen of Hearts (1859). As The Fatal Marriage was taken from an American copy, it now seems clear that the earlier version of Collins's story was widely published in America, and that many pirate editions renamed the story and attributed it to Braddon for sales purposes. Despite this unfortunate error, there is no doubt that the rest of the stories in this volume are by Braddon as they are from verified British sources and were discovered by Jennifer Carnell.
INTRODUCTION BY CHRIS WILLIS
NOTE ON THE TEXT
THE TRUE STORY OF DON JUAN by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
THE FATAL MARRIAGE by Wilkie Collins
SWEET SIMPLICITY by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
HERSELF by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
HIS GOOD FAIRY by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
POOR UNCLE JACOB by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
WILD JUSTICE by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
THE WINNING SEQUENCE by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
THE DOLL'S TRAGEDY by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
AS THE HEART KNOWETH by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
THE COCK OF BOWKER'S by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
MISS BRADDON AT HOME: A SKETCH AND AN INTERVIEW BY JOSEPH HATTON
Chris Willis wrote her PhD on 'Transgressive Women: Gender and Crime in Popular Fiction, 1850-1914' at the University of London. She organised a successful conference on Braddon (Braddon and the Culture of Sensation) at the University of London, and was the editor of the praised Mary Elizabeth Braddon website: www.chriswillis.freeserve.co.uk/braddon.html She wrote extensively on nineteenth and twentieth century crime fiction, and was the co-editor of Twelve Women Detectives and The New Woman in Fiction and in Fact .
This edition is limited to 300 copies.
Hardback ISBN 9781902580067 Price £12.99
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