Lady Audley’s Secret

Lady Audley’s Secret


Mary Elizabeth Braddon

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Lady Audley / Lucy Graham / Helen Maldon Talboys

The titular character of the novel, Lady Audley is the wife of both George Talboysand Sir Michael, the daughter of Lieutenant Maldon, the stepmother of Alicia Audley, and the aunt by… read analysis of Lady Audley / Lucy Graham / Helen Maldon Talboys

Robert Audley

Robert Audley is the nephew of Sir Michael, the cousin of Alicia Audley, the friend of George Talboys, and eventual husband of Clara Talboys. At the beginning of the novel, Robert… read analysis of Robert Audley

George Talboys

George Talboys is the friend of Robert Audley, the first husband of Lady Audley, and the brother of Clara Talboys. He comes from a wealthy family and was a dragoon (a mounted… read analysis of George Talboys

Phoebe Marks

Phoebe Marks is Lady Audley’s maidservant and the wife and cousin of Luke Marks. Described as very pale and plain, she is nevertheless similar to Lady Audley in appearance. Her lack of fine… read analysis of Phoebe Marks

Luke Marks

Luke Marks is the husband and cousin of Phoebe Marks, who, along with his wife, attempts to blackmail Lady Audley. Luke uses information Phoebe gives him concerning Lady Audley’s past to leverage Lady… read analysis of Luke Marks
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Sir Michael Audley

Sir Michael is the second husband of Lady Audley, the father of Alicia Audley, and the uncle of Robert Audley. At the beginning of the novel, he is an old, wealthy widower… read analysis of Sir Michael Audley

Alicia Audley

Alicia Audley is the daughter of Sir Michael, the stepdaughter of Lady Audley, and the cousin and admirer of Robert Audley. She is the opposite of Lady Audley in appearance, with dark… read analysis of Alicia Audley

Clara Talboys

Clara Talboys is the sister of George Talboys who collaborates with and eventually marries Robert Audley. Clara resembles her brother and Robert describes her as handsome, her beauty made even greater by her passion… read analysis of Clara Talboys

Lieutenant Maldon

Lieutenant Maldon is the father of Lady Audley, the father-in-law of George Talboys, and the grandfather and caretaker of Georgey. An alcoholic in constant need of money to support his lifestyle, Maldon… read analysis of Lieutenant Maldon

Mr. Harcourt Talboys

Mr. Harcourt Talboys is the father of George and Clara Talboys. Wealthy, judgmental, and prideful, Harcourt disowns George for marrying Lucy Maldon, a person of a lower class. He also refuses to help… read analysis of Mr. Harcourt Talboys


Georgey is the young son of Lady Audley and George Talboys, the grandson of Lieutenant Maldon, and the ward of Robert Audley. After both his parents abandon him, Georgey spends his early… read analysis of Georgey

Mrs. Vincent

Mrs. Vincent is Lady Audley’s former employer. She provides the reference that earns Lady Audley (then going by the name Lucy Graham) the governess job with Mr. Dawson. Lady Audley later lies that… read analysis of Mrs. Vincent

Miss Tonks

Miss Tonks is another employee of Mrs. Vincent. She reveals to Robert Audley the exact dates of Lady Audley’s arrival at Mrs. Vincent’s school, thus allowing Robert to connect the timelines of Helen… read analysis of Miss Tonks

Mrs. Dawson

Mrs. Dawson is the wife of Mr. Dawson and former employer of Lucy Graham. She councils Lucy after Sir Michael’s proposal, telling her that while this match would mean a huge boost in… read analysis of Mrs. Dawson

Sir Towers

Sir Towers is a wealthy bachelor who proposes to Alicia. In his love for the typically masculine pursuits of hunting and riding, he serves as a foil to Robert Audley, who enjoys the… read analysis of Sir Towers

Dr. Mosgrave

Dr. Mosgrave is the doctor Robert Audley calls to assess Lady Audley’s sanity after she confesses all her crimes. Dr. Mosgrave determines that Lady Audley is not in fact mad, but that, in times… read analysis of Dr. Mosgrave
Minor Characters
Mr. Dawson
Mr. Dawson is the surgeon who employs Lucy Graham as a governess for his children. He is the friend and neighbor of Sir Michael. Robert Audley questions him for details of Lucy’s past, which Mr. Dawson knows little about.
Mrs. Maloney
Mrs. Maloney is Robert Audley’s often incompetent housekeeper.
Mrs. Plowson
Mrs. Plowson is Lieutenant Maldon’s housekeeper and the mother of Matilda Plowson.
Matilda Plowson
Matilda is the daughter of Mrs. Plowson. She bears a passing resemblance to Lady Audley. She dies of illness and is buried in Helen Talboys’s grave.
Mrs. Barkamb
Mrs. Barkamb is the former landlady of Lieutenant Maldon and Helen Maldon (a.k.a. Lady Audley). She provides Robert Audley with the dates of Helen’s departure from her old life as well as with letters Helen once wrote to Lieutenant Maldon.
Miss Morley
Miss Morley is a governess with whom George Talboys converses on the ship from Australia to England. They both have someone in England with whom they are anxious to meet, but Miss Morley is far more pessimistic than George is when predicting how her lover will welcome her.
Monsieur Val
Monsieur Val runs the asylum in Belgium to which Robert commits Lady Audley at the end of the novel.