1835        Mary Elizabeth Braddon, one of three siblings, was born at No. 2, Frith Street, Soho Square, London, October 4, her parents being Fanny White and solicitor Henry Braddon, who had moved to London from Cornwall.

1839        When Braddon's parents separated amicably, she remained with her mother

1847        When Braddon was just twelve, her brother Edward (1829-1904) left England to work in a cousin's trading company in Calcutta, India

1852-59        For seven years, beginning at age seventeen, Braddon pursued a career on the stage under the pseudonym "Mary Seyton," acting mainly in provincial theatres

1857        Braddon's brother volunteered to serve in the British forces after the outbreak of the Sepoy Mutiny in India.

1859        Braddon wrote her first novel, The Octoroon; or, The Lily of Louisiana.

1860        was something of an annus mirabilis for twenty-five-year-old Braddon as her play The Loves of Arcadia was staged at The Strand Theatre, London, her first novel, Three Times Dead; or, The Secret of the Heath was published, and Yorkshire squire John Gilby of Beverley commissioned her to write a lengthy poem about the exploits of Garibaldi, liberator of Italy. Finally, she met publisher and editor John Maxwell, who brought out several of her short stories in his various magazines, including "The Cold Embrace."

1861        In February, she published Garibaldi and Other Poems. On 1 July, her novel The Black Band; or, The Mysteries of Midnight began its serial run in The Halfpenny Magazine. John Maxwell inaugurated his new magazine Robin Goodfellow with Lady Audley's Secret in serial (Ch. 1-18, 6 July through 28 September), after which she began living with Maxwell. Finally, her second novel, Three Times Dead, revised by Maxwell and retitled The Trail of the Serpent, sold a thousand copies within its first week of publication.

1862        On 26 May, her novel The White Phantom began its serial run in The Halfpenny Journal. The serial run of Lady Audley's Secret recommenced serial publication in the Sixpenny Magazine in January in monthly instalments, ending in December, but was published in three volumes in October; meanwhile, Aurora Floyd had been running serially in Temple Bar. She wrote the novel Lady Lisle and the short story "Eveline's Visitant." She and Maxwell celebrated the birth of a son, Gerald, in March.

1863        Aurora Floyd was published in three volumes. Lady Audley's Secret was serialized in the London Journal in twenty-two weekly parts, each illustrated, from 21 March through 15 August. She wrote two novels: Eleanor's Victory and Captain of the Vulture. A son, Francis, and a daughter, Fanny, were born in January and December respectively.

1864        Loosely adapted from Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary, Braddon's The Doctor's Wife was published, along with the novels Henry Dunbar and John Marchmont's Legacy.

1866        Braddon began editing the monthly literary magazine Belgravia. She published The Lady's Mile serially, and Sir Jasper's Tenant in volume form. She and John Maxwell purchased Lichfield House, Richmond-upon-Thames. Their son Francis died, but another, William Babington (a future novelist, d. 1938) was born.

1867        Braddon published Circe, a novel also called Babington White, as well as Rupert Godwin and Birds of Prey.

1868        Braddon published the novels Charlotte's Inheritance, Dead Sea Fruit, and Run to Earth. On November 1, Braddon's mother died, just weeks after Braddon had received the report of her sister Maggie's death in Italy. In December, Braddon gave birth to a daughter, Winifred, then succumbed to a nervous breakdown complicated by puerperal fever.

1870        Braddon's last child, Edward, was born in December. She wrote the short story "John Granger."

1871        Braddon, having recovered her health, published the novels Fenton's Quest and The Lovels of Arden.

1872        Braddon published the novels Robert Ainsleigh and To The Bitter End.

1873        Braddon published the novels Strangers and Pilgrims and Lucius Davoren.

1874        When John Maxwell's insane wife died on 5 September, he and Braddon were finally free to marry, and did so on 2 October.

1875        Braddon published the novels Hostages to Fortune and A Strange World.

1876        Braddon published the novels Joshua Haggard's Daughter and Dead Men's Shoes. She resigned her editorship of Belgravia.

1878        Braddon began publication of the Christmas annual The Mistletoe Bough, to which she frequently contributed over the following fourteen years. That same year, Braddon published the novel An Open Verdict in volume, and The Vixen in serial.

1879        Braddon published the novels The Vixen and The Cloven Foot in volume.

1880        Braddon published the novels The Story of Barbara, The Missing Witness, and Just As I Am in volume.

1881        Braddon published the novel Asphodel in volume.

1882        Braddon published the short story Flower and Weed and the novel Mount Royal in volume.

1883        Braddon published three novels: The Golden Calf, Phantom Fortune, and Under the Red Flag

1884        Braddon published the novel Ishmael in volume.

1885        Braddon published the novel Wyllard's Weird

1886        Braddon published four novels: One Thing Needful, Cut by the County, The Good Hermione and Mohawks

1887        Braddon published the novel Like and Unlike in volume.

1888        Braddon published the novel The Fatal Three in volume.

1889        Braddon published the novel The Day Will Come in volume.

1890        Braddon published the novel One Life, One Love in volume.

1891        Braddon published the novel Gerard; or, The World, the flesh, and the Devil. John Maxwell's health markedly declined.

18972        The Venetians published.

1893        Along the River published.

1894        The Christmas Hirelings and Thou Art the Man published.

1895        Sons of Fire published.

1896        London Pride published. "The Winning Sequence," a story set partly in Suffield House, Richmond, near Braddon's own residence, appeared Lloyd's Magazine on 27 December.

1897        Under Love's Rule published.

1898        In High Places and Rough Justice published.

1899        His Darling Sin published.

1900        The Infidel published.

1903        Braddon published The Conflict, a novel set in Richmond and Twickenham.

1904        A Lost Eden published. Also this year, her brother, Sir Edward Nicholas Coventry Braddon, K. C. M. G., Prime Minister of the Australian island colony of Tasmania, died.

1905        The Rose of Life published.

1906        The White House published.

1907        The Convict published.

1908        The Green Curtain published.

1909        During Her Majesty's Pleasure published.

1910        Beyond These Voices published.

1911        The Green Curtain published.

1913        Miranda published.

1915        4 February, Braddon died from a cerebral hemorrhage, aged 79, and was buried in Richmond Cemetery.

1916        Mary, Braddon's last novel, was published posthumously.

Related Material


Victorian Overview

Last modified 20 December 2006