In the latter years of the nineteenth century, Mary Elizabeth Braddon was one of the best known, and best-selling, authors of the day. Arnold Bennet described her, in 1901, as 'part of England', and wrote that while some might know of Hardy or Meredith, everyone knew Miss Braddon.
Her best-known work was undoubtedly Lady Audley's Secret (1862), a melodramatic tale of bigamy, madness, desertion, and murder which catapulted its author to the forefront of the literary world. In the years which followed she turned out dozens of novels and scores of short stories, in addition to editing two of her husband's publications: the monthly magazine Belgravia and the Christmas annual The Misletoe Bough.
Amongst Miss Braddon's prodigious output were many tales of the supernatural and the weird, scattered through her collections of short stories and her magazine appearances; but the scarcity of these tales has led to all but a handful being overlooked by anthologisers. Richard Dalby has collected together eighteen of Miss Braddon's finest tales of the uncanny, all of which demonstrate her mastery of the form and show why she was one of the best-selling authors of her time. In his extensive introduction, Dalby also takes a thorough look at a fascinating woman, who lived through hardship and scandal to become a respected and much-loved literary figure.
(Ash-Tree Press blurb)