Mary Braddon Archive

Mary Elizabeth Braddon (1835-1915), bestselling author of over 80 novels with a writing career spanning 1860-1915, is a key figure for scholars of sensation and crime fiction, theatre history, life writing, childhood studies, popular fiction/culture and Victorian women’s writing. She remains most famous for her bestselling sensation novel ‘Lady Audley’s Secret’ (1862) but since her rediscovery in the 1980s critics have become increasingly interested in the other work of this notably prolific writer.

Kept in the family since Braddon’s death in 1915, the Archive has been held from 2012 by the International Centre for Victorian Women Writers (ICVWW). This archive of unpublished material includes correspondence with Braddon’s family and famous figures of her day, working notebooks containing vital plans and drafts of some of her most celebrated works, play scripts, short stories, draft novel chapters and her unpublished memoir of childhood Before the Knowledge of Evil. The Archive also contains material relating to her children, including the artist and writer W. B. Maxwell and Gerald Maxwell.

The Braddon Archive Project aims to raise awareness of this important writer through digitisation, cataloguing and contextualisation of significant archival material as well as through public lectures, exhibitions and study days.

Project leads:

Postgraduate Research Assistant:

Alyson Hunt

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