Description of the book
Ellen Wood’s sensation novel of 1861 found immediate popularity on its first publication. Its themes of infidelity and double identity attracted a wide range of readers, from the Prince of Wales to Joseph Conrad. Lady Isabel Carlyle leaves her husband and children for the aristocratic Francis Levison who, as it turns out, has no intention of marrying her. Having been disfigured in a train accident, the unrecognisable Isabel then takes up the position of governess to her own children in the Carlyle household, with tragic consequences.
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