Lady Audley's Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon. Graceful and lovely Lady Audley may not be all that she seems in this Victorian novel. Lady Audley is young, beautiful, and universally adored. Everyone comments on her sweet nature and her perfect marriage to the wealthy and aristocratic Sir Michael Audley. Sir Michael’s nephew Robert is equally struck by his new aunt’s angelic ways—until he notices the strange, terrifying effect Lady Audley has on his friend George Talboys. When George mysteriously vanishes, Robert is convinced that Lady Audley is neither as innocent nor as helpless as she appears, and he sets out to discover what secrets lie in Lady Audley’s past. A bestseller when it was first published in 1862, Lady Audley’s Secret shocked readers because it dared to suggest that beneath a perfect surface a woman might be willing to lie, con, and even kill for the life she wanted.