In the novel Lady Audley’s Secret, questions relating to the social and legal status of women in Victorian society are debated. In this case, Braddon avoids one-sidedness in the coverage and unambiguity in the resolution (as evidenced by the finale of the novel) of this far from simple and actual problem. For the vast majority of researchers of Braddon’s work, the novel seems to be a kind of author’s protest against the lawlessness and absolute dependence of women who, in order to obtain a certain legal protection and material well-being, guaranteed by the law on marriage, are forced to seek an advantageous marriage. Against the need for submission to men and the way of life imposed on them. However, this novel allows you to see the ambiguity of the author’s attitude to the basis of the foundations of Victorian society – the institution of the family and marriage, because the novelist’s solution of the novel’s social and moral conflict testifies to its rather conservative positions in this matter.
Despite the clearly expressed sensational essence, the image of Lady Audley has a certain analytical depth and social fullness. The mystery of the name of the heroine, more precisely, the presence of three names – Helen Maldon (the name of the heroine in her first marriage), Lucy Graham (the name of the heroine during her work as governess), and Lady Audley (the name of the heroine during her second illegal marriage), plays a significant role in the construction of the social layer of the novel: on the one hand, it allows you to bring in the novel content and reveal the essence of diverse ideas about women and femininity that existed in Victorian society, on the other, is a kind of criterion that determines not yet a character, but vested in and circuit behavior character.
The character of Lady Audley is initially programmed and remains absolutely unchanged throughout the novel action that reveals in accordance with the development of the plot.
Lady Audley’s Secret is, in addition, the story of sex and class, as well as undesirable upward mobility of Lady Audley involves a threat to the social class paradigm. Madness is also a key issue. Lady Audley and others often talk about the meaning of this word, but many readers believe that Lady Audley is not crazy. In fact, many critics view Lady Audley’s deception as a feminist act in which a woman takes control of the direction of her own life.
In the novel Lady Audley’s Secret, questions relating to the social and legal status of women in Victorian society are debated. In this case, Braddon avoids one-sidedness in the coverage and unambiguity in the resolution (as evidenced by the finale of the novel) of this far from simple and actual problem.