“This whole act’s immutably decreed. ‘Twas rehearsed by thee and me a billion years before this ocean rolled. Fool! I am the Fates’ lieutenant; I act under orders.” ~ Moby Dick by Herman Melville
“Men’s courses will foreshadow certain ends, to which, if persevered in, they must lead,” said Scrooge. “But if the courses be departed from, the ends will change. Say it is thus with what you show me!” ~ A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Literature has a way of preserving memories, entertaining a reader, and teaching valuable lessons to generations. People who have written it may have long been dead yet living because of their captivating pieces. Such was the case of Mary Elizabeth Braddon (1835-1915), an English novelist in the Victorian era. Here are more facts about her life and work:
Braddon’s parents were separated – Her mother, Fanny, left her husband when Braddon was only four. The major reason for the move was infidelity. During that time, being a single mother was very rare.
She was well educated – Braddon was privately educated in England and France.
Mary Elizabeth Braddon was also an actress – Besides writing, Braddon was an actor. Her motivation was the fact that her family was going through financial difficulties. She supported her mother with the money that she raised. The acting career lasted for 8 years. Because of the controversy involved in being an actress, she took a stage name-Mary Seyton.
She had famous mentors – Just like many great people, Braddon had mentors to offer her the advice and help that she needed to thrive in her career. The most prominent ones were John Gilby and Edward Bulwer-Lytton.
Braddon was one of the founders of “sensation fiction” – Along with Willkie Collins and Ellen Wood (Mrs. Henry Wood), Braddon was responsible for the genre of sensation fiction. Her most popular sensational novel was the Lady Audrey’s Secret (1862).
She founded a magazine – In 1866, Braddon founded the Belgravia magazine. She presented sensational novels, travel narratives fashion its and poems among other literary works to the audience.
She had a controversial love life – In 1860, Braddon met John Maxwell. She moved in with him the next year, despite the fact that he was already married. Upon the death of the first wife, in 1874, the couple got married.
Certainly, Mary Elizabeth Braddon was a great writer and was able to overcome many odds in her life. She rose above these problems and is still famous today.
Phoebe Marks was a person who never lost her individuality. Silent and self-constrained, she seemed to hold herself within herself, and take no color from the outer world. ~ Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
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“You see my kind of loyalty was loyalty to one’s country, not to its institutions or its office-holders. The country is the real thing, the substantial thing, the eternal thing; it is the thing to watch over, and care for, and be loyal to; institutions are extraneous.” ~ A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain
And he gave it for his opinion, “that whoever could make two ears of corn, or two blades of grass, to grow upon a spot of ground where only one grew before, would deserve better of mankind, and do more essential service to his country, than the whole race of politicians put together.” ~ Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
“Don’t you love heavy fragrances, faint with sweetness, ravishing juices of odor, heliotropes, violets, water-lilies,–powerful attars and extracts that snatch your soul off your lips?” ~ The Amber Gods by Harriet Prescott Spofford
“Our highest assurance of the goodness of Providence seems to me to rest in the flowers. All other things, our powers, our desires, our food, are all really necessary for our existence in the first instance. But this rose is an extra. Its smell and its color are an embellishment of life, not a condition of it. It is only goodness which gives extras, and so I say again that we have much to hope from the flowers.” ~ The Naval Treaty by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle