Miss Braddon. . . was the first inventor of that gentle and amiable heroine, fair-haired, blue-eyed, and capable of every crime, who has been so often repeated since; and added a new specialité of character for the use of those lesser artists who follow a leader with such exasperating fidelity to all that can be copied. Miss Braddon, now Mrs. Maxwell, is perhaps the most complete story-teller of the whole, and has not confined herself to that or any other type of character, but has ranged widely over all English scenes and subjects, always with a power of interesting and occupying the public, which is one of the first qualities of the novelist. If it has ever happened to the reader to find himself, while travelling, out of the reach of books and left to the drift of cheap editions for the entertainment of his stray hours, he will then appreciate what it is, among the levity and insignificance of many of the younger writers, to find the name of Miss Braddon on a title-page, and know that he is likely to find some sense of life as a whole, and some reflection of the honest sentiments of humanity, amid the froth of flirtation and folly which has lately invaded, like a destroying flood, the realms of fiction. — Mrs. Oliphant, The Victorian Age in Literature (1892)

Braddon was no one-hit wonder. She became one of the most celebrated and bestselling writers of the nineteenth century, the author of some eighty or so novels, dozens (possibly hundreds) of short stories, and a respected editor of two literary magazines. In 1901, Arnold Bennett noted that while some people might have heard of Thomas Hardy or George Meredith, everyone knew of Braddon, describing her as "part of England". — Gerri Kimber in a 2015 TLS review of Braddon's ghost stories

Biographical Materials

Literary Relations

Genre, Mode, and Style

Theme, subject, and Technique

Social, Political, and Other Cultural Contexts

Braddon and the Visual Arts


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Last modified 17 February 2015