Mary Elizabeth Braddon

Aurora Floyd

This is a highly sensational story, full of clever, sprightly, and powerful writing, although calculated to make us believe that modern society is sadly in need of moral improvement. Miss Braddon writes with great fluency and case, and appears to have a natural aptitude for plotting. In abandoning the stage and music — teaching for this department of literature, we do not think she has mistaken her vocation. The first chapter of 'Aurora Floyd' is a story in itself. It tells the history of Mr. Archibald Floyd who came from 'the land o' cakes,' and worked his way up in the world till he became the senior partner of the great banking firm of Floyd, Floyd and Floyd, Lombard Street. It pictures him at his country residence, a bachelor past the prime of life, desolate and wealthy. 'It follows him to the theatre of Lancashiretown, where he falls in love with an actress — Miss Eliza Prodder by name — and marries her immediately; her theatrical acquaintances assuring her, in language more sincere than elegant, that she would be a great fool to refuse an old fellow like him, with lots of money — for they had acquired an idea of his wealth by his treating them in an adjoining tavern. There is nothing very attractive about her but her bright, black eyes; she is a mystery to the ladies who meet her at her new home, and they speak evil and are jealous of her; she is amazed at the grandeur of her new position; but earthly glory is short — lived, she dies, leaving behind a helpless babe and an inconsolable husband …
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