Lady Audley’s Secret

Lady Audley’s Secret

by

Mary Elizabeth Braddon

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Lieutenant Maldon Character Analysis

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 uses his beautiful daughter to ensnare a wealthy son-in-law to lend him money. He borrows so much money from his daughter and her husband, however, that their already precarious financial situation turns into outright poverty. His dismal circumstances and addiction provide a realistic depiction of the harshness of Victorian-era poverty.

Lieutenant Maldon Quotes in Lady Audley’s Secret

The Lady Audley’s Secret quotes below are all either spoken by Lieutenant Maldon or refer to Lieutenant Maldon. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Women and Power in Victorian England Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Oxford University Press edition of Lady Audley’s Secret published in 1987.
Volume 2, Chapter 9 Quotes

“I am weary of my life here, and wish, if I can, to find a new one. I go out into the world, dissevered from every link which binds me to the hateful past, to seek another home and another fortune. Forgive me if I have been fretful, capricious, changeable. You should forgive me, for you know why I have been so. You know the secret which is the key to my life.”

Page Number: 213
Explanation and Analysis:
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Lieutenant Maldon Character Timeline in Lady Audley’s Secret

The timeline below shows where the character Lieutenant Maldon appears in Lady Audley’s Secret. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Volume 1, Chapter 2
Poverty and Wealth Theme Icon
...used to be a cavalryman in the army, when he met his wife. His wife’s father was an alcoholic scammer who used his daughter to ensnare a rich son-in-law. George comes... (full context)
Volume 1, Chapter 5
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
George and Robert find the cabin of Captain Maldon (Helen’s father), where they learn Maldon is out with his grandson. In the cabin, they... (full context)
Volume 1, Chapter 6
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
George and Robert go to the beach to find Maldon. Maldon does not seem to recognize George at first because of his beard, but when... (full context)
Poverty and Wealth Theme Icon
A little boy runs up and starts talking to Maldon. George tells the boy, “I am your father…Will you love me?” The boy says he... (full context)
Women and Power in Victorian England Theme Icon
Poverty and Wealth Theme Icon
Maldon tells George how after George abandoned the family, they moved to Southampton, where Helen taught... (full context)
Women and Power in Victorian England Theme Icon
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
George says Little Georgey should stay with Maldon. George says he will return to Australia as soon as possible. Maldon seems eager for... (full context)
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
Poverty and Wealth Theme Icon
...questions about his wife. She says Helen didn’t die in poverty and George wonders where Maldon got the money, but is too weary with grief to ask more questions. He and... (full context)
Volume 1, Chapter 12
Poverty and Wealth Theme Icon
...Fig-tree Court to find no trace of George. He then goes to Southampton, to Mr. Maldon’s cabin. There he finds Mr. Maldon and Little Georgey. Robert remarks how Georgey looks like... (full context)
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
Maldon tells Robert that George stopped by late the previous evening but left after an hour.... (full context)
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
Robert asks Georgey if he saw George last night. The little boy says he didn’t. Maldon says Georgey was asleep when George came. Georgey then asks for the pretty lady who... (full context)
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
Poverty and Wealth Theme Icon
Maldon reveals to Robert that he pawned the watch because he needed the money. He says... (full context)
Volume 1, Chapter 13
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
Poverty and Wealth Theme Icon
Robert thinks about the mystery of the telegraph, questioning if Maldon purposely separated Robert from George or harmed George in order to get the 20,000-pound inheritance... (full context)
Volume 1, Chapter 15
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
...George’s disappearance. He states that he believes George never went to Southampton at all and Maldon is lying about seeing him. (full context)
Volume 2, Chapter 2
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
...to him by the pretty lady. Robert asks about the pretty lady. Georgey says that Maldon told him not to talk about the pretty lady but he will anyway. He says... (full context)
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
...rambles on about Mrs. Plowson’s daughter, who was sick. Before he can continue, a drunken Maldon comes in and tells Mrs. Plowson to go wash Georgey’s face. Robert realizes that Mrs.... (full context)
Volume 2, Chapter 3
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
Poverty and Wealth Theme Icon
Robert tells Maldon that he intends to take Georgey away. Maldon admits that he always knew either Robert... (full context)
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
Robert confronts Maldon and tells him that George never left for Australia, and that Maldon only repeated what... (full context)
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
Poverty and Wealth Theme Icon
Maldon breaks down sobbing. Because of this, and the incredible poverty surrounding him, Robert takes pity... (full context)
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
Maldon repeats over and over that he does not believe that George is dead. Mrs. Plowson... (full context)
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
Maldon agrees to let Robert take Georgey away. Robert assures him that he will take Georgey... (full context)
Volume 2, Chapter 9
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
...writes to Clara asking the name of the town where George met Helen and Mr. Maldon, since George never talked to Robert about Helen after her supposed death. Clara sends a... (full context)
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
...into a large and empty hotel. He asks the landlord if he ever knew Captain Maldon. The landlord says that he did and he knew Maldon’s daughter too. (full context)
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
Robert asks the landlord how long Helen and Mr. Maldon stayed in Wildernsea after George left. The landlord says that he does not know, but... (full context)
Women and Power in Victorian England Theme Icon
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
Poverty and Wealth Theme Icon
...She says that Helen attempted to support herself through music lessons after George’s abandonment, but Maldon spent all her money. After a fight with her father, Helen left Wildernsea without her... (full context)
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
Mrs. Barkamb remembers she has a letter Captain Maldon wrote to her on the day Helen left. She also has a letter Helen wrote... (full context)
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
Poverty and Wealth Theme Icon
Madness Theme Icon
In her letter to Captain Maldon, Helen writes that she has grown weary of her life in Wildernsea and is leaving... (full context)
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
Robert connects the fact that Mr. Maldon’s letter is dated August 16th, 1854 and Miss Tonks said that Lucy Graham arrived at... (full context)
Volume 2, Chapter 11
Women and Power in Victorian England Theme Icon
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
Poverty and Wealth Theme Icon
Robert says Helen and Captain Maldon created a conspiracy. He states that this is a conspiracy made by a conniving woman,... (full context)
Women and Power in Victorian England Theme Icon
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
...knows of a fair-haired woman in Southampton named Plowson, who seems to share in Captain Maldon’s secrets. (full context)
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
Robert says he has circumstantial evidence. He has the letter Helen wrote to Captain Maldon. He asks Lady Audley if she would like to know whose handwriting Helen’s resembles. Lady... (full context)
Women and Power in Victorian England Theme Icon
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
Madness Theme Icon
...will not be fooled by her feminine ploys. He states that Helen deserted her poor father to start a new life. On August 16th 1854, she dropped the name Helen Talboys... (full context)
Volume 3, Chapter 3
Poverty and Wealth Theme Icon
...She lived in a lonely village with a caretaker she hated. She rarely saw her father and learned early on “what it was to be poor.” (full context)
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
Poverty and Wealth Theme Icon
When Lady Audley was 10 years old, her father returned to take her to school, but she had already felt “the bitterness of poverty.”... (full context)
Poverty and Wealth Theme Icon
Madness Theme Icon
Lady Audley says she told her father she knew about her mother. Captain Maldon loved his wife dearly and would have cared... (full context)
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
Madness Theme Icon
...Audley continues to tell the story of her past. Before she went to school, Captain Maldon took Lady Audley to see her mother. Instead of a raving maniac, her mother appeared... (full context)
Women and Power in Victorian England Theme Icon
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
Poverty and Wealth Theme Icon
At seventeen, Lady Audley moved in with her now retired father in a remote town. She grew impatient while waiting for a rich husband. She says... (full context)
Poverty and Wealth Theme Icon
...and George married, they traveled Europe together. When they came back to live with her father, however, George had run out of money and neglected his wife because he was depressed... (full context)
Women and Power in Victorian England Theme Icon
Poverty and Wealth Theme Icon
Madness Theme Icon
Lady Audley resented George for leaving her in poverty, having to labor even though George’s father was rich. She didn’t love her son because he was only a burden to her.... (full context)
Women and Power in Victorian England Theme Icon
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
Poverty and Wealth Theme Icon
Madness Theme Icon
...less fortunate, empathizing with them since she was once poor. She sent money to her father anonymously. She would have been kind and generous all her life if fate had not... (full context)
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
Madness Theme Icon
...for her. Again, Lady Audley felt herself sink into madness. She went to meet her father in Southampton and together they conspired to announce Helen Talboys’s death in the newspaper. They... (full context)
Women and Power in Victorian England Theme Icon
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
Captain Maldon broke down in tears due to his anxiety over George. Lady Audley sat down to... (full context)
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
...she bore a passing resemblance to herself. Lady Audley bribed Mrs. Plowson and then instructed Maldon to find lodgings and a doctor while referring to Matilda as his daughter, “Mrs. Talboys.”... (full context)
Volume 3, Chapter 4
Women and Power in Victorian England Theme Icon
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
...has been foolish and mean to him, and that now she must care for her father. She prepares for them to leave, and Robert recognizes a new seriousness in her behavior. (full context)