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Archived Group Reads 2012 > Lady Audley, Vol. 1 Ch. 17-19

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message 1: by SarahC (last edited Nov 14, 2012 08:11AM) (new)

SarahC (SarahCarmack) | 1436 comments Spoilers for this section only.

Vol. One ends with the Chapter titled "The Blacksmith's Mistake"


message 2: by Clari (new)

Clari (clariann) | 496 comments I thought Robert Audley's deliberations about whether to continue his investigations in chapter nineteen were well written and gave more insight into his character.
I didn't quite understand why in the earlier scene meeting Lady Audley in the inn he told her his plans, giving her the opportunity to outmanoeuvre him. Was he trying to scare her into confession or was it a plot device to further implicate and reveal the Lady's character that she goes straight to London to obtain the letters?


message 3: by Julie (last edited Nov 05, 2012 09:04AM) (new)

Julie (readerjules) He's trying to give her hints that he is after her so that she gets scared. This may become more apparent to you soon.


message 4: by Janice (JG) (new)

Janice (JG) | 150 comments Julie wrote: "He's trying to give her hints that he is after her so that she gets scared. This may become more apparent to you soon."

Yes, it's a bit of foreshadowing for the feelings he articulates a little later.

There are also a couple other foreshadowing events that I'm looking forward to their unfolding -- one is the bruise that wraps around Lady Audley's wrist that we see when her watch slips down. The other is when Lady Audley notices how much her maid (Phoebe?) could look almost identical to her if she (the maid) just had a little bit of a make-over.


message 5: by Jamey (new)

Jamey | 11 comments I was confused as to why Robert told Lady Audley his plans, also. His reaction to the letters disappearing made me wonder for a moment if he didn't suspect her? It just didn't add up. Maybe I'll find out later on what he was up to.
I also like where the mystery might be going with the bruise, and the maid that looks like Lady Audley. Very interesting. I'm ready to see how this all unfolds.


message 6: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 2552 comments Braddon is doing a nice bit of work developing plenty of lines for us to try to follow. We're only a bit more than a third of the way through, and already there are enough mysterious happenings to satisfy anyone.

But I'm not sure how Robert suspected that Luke Marks knew something he shouldn't have. That seemed to me a leap in the total dark. Did I miss something that he knew that would have made him reasonably suspect that?


message 7: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 2552 comments Very interesting, I think, that back in those days Luke took his wife's last name. Phoebe is introduced as Phoebe Marks early on, long before her marriage; now we have them married as Luke Marks and Phoebe Marks.

Is this just carelessness on Braddon's part, or did he really take her last name, and if so why? Was this explained, and am I reading too fast and missing things?


message 8: by Clari (new)

Clari (clariann) | 496 comments Everyman wrote: "Very interesting, I think, that back in those days Luke took his wife's last name. Phoebe is introduced as Phoebe Marks early on, long before her marriage; now we have them married as Luke Marks a..."

Isn't it because they are cousins they have the same name? Or that is what my guess was anyway :)

On your other point, I don't think it was a leap in the dark for Robert to say that Luke Marks knew something, as Robert was watching their behaviour, especially Phoebe's anxiety that the men wouldn't talk to each other. I think there was an early clue where Robert's decides that he isn't going to get anything out of Phoebe, but then through the wall he hears her husband bragging.
Luke also says something about how they should have got more money, whereas normally I presume such a parting gift for a maid would have been considered generous.


message 9: by Rebecca (last edited Nov 14, 2012 02:50PM) (new)

Rebecca I loved the ending line at the end of chapter 19. About the trap door. A lot of talk about the fish pond in various types of weather and the lime walk constant in earlier sections. I haven't quite figured it out why yet.


message 10: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 2552 comments Rebecca wrote: "I loved the ending line at the end of chapter 19. About the trap door. A lot of talk about the fish pond in various types of weather and the lime walk constant in earlier sections. I haven't quite..."

Do you have a different Chapter 19 than I have? Mine ends "I can understand all now. My next visit must be to Southampton. I must place the boy in better hands." Was this what you were referring to?


message 11: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca It appears that way my 19 does not end with that line and also that is the end of Vol.1 Mine is the Oxford edition for Kindle.


message 12: by SarahC (new)

SarahC (SarahCarmack) | 1436 comments The Broadview edition explains:

Braddon divided the chapter19 of the Sixpenny serial into two separate chapters for the first and subsequent editions: Vol. 1, Chap. 19 and Vol. 2, Chap 1.

Also, the serial ran in the London Journal also, which offered a different number of installments than the Sixpenny, so some today's readers may see that version. And lastly, I have the 3 vol. book version published by Tinsley in 1862. Part of the mystery and charm of Vic reading!

Similar differences are throughout the novel. I don't anticipate this will cause us to create spoilers for each other -- we won't worry about it.


message 13: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 2552 comments Rebecca wrote: "It appears that way my 19 does not end with that line and also that is the end of Vol.1 Mine is the Oxford edition for Kindle."

What is the line you liked so much?


message 14: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca How long ago that September afternoon appears as I look back at it -that September afternoon upon which I parted with him alive and well; and lost him as suddenly and unaccountably  as if a trapdoor had opened in the solid earth, and let him through to the Antipodes!


message 15: by SarahC (new)

SarahC (SarahCarmack) | 1436 comments That is a good passage, Rebecca. And it reminds us that Robert really was shocked into reality - it really was an incredible disappearance -- he thought George had just walked away to take a stroll or go back to the inn. Putting myself in Robert's shoes -- it would be a terrible thing to deal with.


message 16: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 2552 comments Rebecca wrote: "How long ago that September afternoon appears as I look back at it -that September afternoon upon which I parted with him alive and well; and lost him as suddenly and unaccountably  as if a trapdoo..."

Ah, yes. It was a good line.


message 17: by SarahC (new)

SarahC (SarahCarmack) | 1436 comments Clari wrote: "Everyman wrote: "Very interesting, I think, that back in those days Luke took his wife's last name. Phoebe is introduced as Phoebe Marks early on, long before her marriage; now we have them marrie..."


Phoebe and Luke are cousins, thus the same last name. Sorry I just caught up with this question.


message 18: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay | 4 comments Jamey wrote: "I was confused as to why Robert told Lady Audley his plans, also. His reaction to the letters disappearing made me wonder for a moment if he didn't suspect her? It just didn't add up.

I had a problem with this, too. It seemed like a huge blunder for Robert to make. I think he just underestimated Lady Audley's cunning and her desire to protect herself at any cost.


message 19: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 2552 comments Lindsay wrote: "Jamey wrote: "I was confused as to why Robert told Lady Audley his plans, also. His reaction to the letters disappearing made me wonder for a moment if he didn't suspect her? It just didn't add up."
I had a problem with this, too. It seemed like a huge blunder for Robert to make. I think he just underestimated Lady Audley's cunning and her desire to protect herself at any cost.


He definitely misunderstood her -- perhaps (probably?) because he couldn't see past blonde hair and lovely face to see the evil behind them.

But I think his reason was that he wanted to show her that he understood it all, and hope that she would just choose to run away (as she did initially from Wildernsea) rather than face arrest and trial for murder.

In which case, his Uncle wouldn't have to deal with the truth about her evilness. Maybe Robert even hoped she would commit suicide. It would have been painful for his Uncle, but it wouldn't have forced him to understand the evil he had married and that he was shielding a wife who was a murderess and had to make the choice between turning her in and shielding her knowing that about her.


message 20: by Clari (new)

Clari (clariann) | 496 comments Everyman wrote: " It would have been painful for his Uncle, but it wouldn't have forced him to understand the evil he had married and that he was shielding a wife who was a murderess and had to make the choice between turning her in and shielding her knowing that about her. "

This is something that has interested me, Robert seems unwilling to hurt his uncle so I'm wondering how this will effect his investigation and if he'll be able to take it through to the end.
I'm purely speculating here, but as it is a mid-Victorian era novel which tend to have neater endings there will be moral resolution, whereas in later writings Robert's attachment to his uncle could cause him to walk away from the truth.


message 21: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 2552 comments Clari wrote: "I'm purely speculating here, but as it is a mid-Victorian era novel which tend to have neater endings there will be moral resolution, whereas in later writings Robert's attachment to his uncle could cause him to walk away from the truth. "

Good point. In England, yes, neat endings were almost mandatory. European novels had developed beyond that, but not English.


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