Lady Audley’s Secret

Lady Audley’s Secret

by

Mary Elizabeth Braddon

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Phoebe Marks Character Analysis

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 clothes, however, keeps her from being considered a great beauty like her lady. Phoebe was previously a servant in Mr. Dawson’s household at the same time as Lady Audley. Phoebe is a willing participant in the blackmail of Lady Audley, though she later claims that Luke forced her to marry him and to threaten to reveal Lady Audley’s secret identity. Phoebe represents the kind of ambitious member of the lower class whom the upper classes feared during the Victorian era, as she is willing to use her proximity to her lady to gain wealth through malicious tactics. Her physical similarity to Lady Audley further reveals the superficiality of Victorian society’s perceptions of class, as the two women are nearly identical but for a few minor, material characteristics.

Phoebe Marks Quotes in Lady Audley’s Secret

The Lady Audley’s Secret quotes below are all either spoken by Phoebe Marks or refer to Phoebe Marks. 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 1, Chapter 7 Quotes

“Do you know, Phoebe, I have heard some people say you and I are alike?”

“I have heard them say so too, my lady…but they must be very stupid to say it, for your ladyship is a beauty, and I’m a poor plain creature.”

“Not at all, Phoebe…you are like me…it is only colour that you want. My hair is pale yellow shot with gold, yours is drab…Why, with a bottle of hair dye, such as we see advertised in the papers, and a pot of rouge, you’d be as good-looking as I any day, Phoebe.”

Related Symbols: Lady Audley’s Golden Curls
Page Number: 54-55
Explanation and Analysis:
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Lady Audley’s Secret PDF

Phoebe Marks Character Timeline in Lady Audley’s Secret

The timeline below shows where the character Phoebe Marks appears in Lady Audley’s Secret. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Volume 1, Chapter 3
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
Poverty and Wealth Theme Icon
...Court, casting the house in deep shades of red. The landscape is still and quiet. Phoebe Marks, the maidservant of Lady Audley, walks out into the gardens. The narrator describes Phoebe... (full context)
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
Poverty and Wealth Theme Icon
A man is sitting on the old well when Phoebe emerges from the lime-tree walk. Phoebe assures him they won’t be heard in this secluded... (full context)
Poverty and Wealth Theme Icon
Phoebe remarks on how just three months ago, Lady Audley was a servant like her. Luke... (full context)
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
Poverty and Wealth Theme Icon
Since Lady Audley and Sir Michael are away, Luke proposes that he and Phoebe look at all Lady Audley’s finery. Inside, Luke mentions a rumor of a murder that... (full context)
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Poverty and Wealth Theme Icon
Luke considers stealing one of Lady Audley’s diamond bracelets, but Phoebe tells him not to. Luke finds a secret drawer containing a baby’s shoe and lock... (full context)
Volume 1, Chapter 7
Women and Power in Victorian England Theme Icon
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
Poverty and Wealth Theme Icon
Back at Audley Court, Phoebe attends to Lady Audley. Lady Audley is much friendlier with her maid than she is... (full context)
Volume 1, Chapter 8
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
Poverty and Wealth Theme Icon
...visit Alicia at Audley Court. Alicia shows them around the house, but when she asks Phoebe if they could see Lady Audley’s rooms, Phoebe says that Lady Audley locked her chambers... (full context)
Volume 1, Chapter 9
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
...Lady Audley. Lady Audley goes to her chambers and sees George’s glove. She sharply orders Phoebe to take it away, then quickly changes her tone and tells Phoebe how much she... (full context)
Volume 1, Chapter 14
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
Poverty and Wealth Theme Icon
...and Sir Michael is often away from home, so Lady Audley has no friend but Phoebe. (full context)
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
Phoebe is just educated enough to hold a conversation with Lady Audley. They mainly talk about... (full context)
Women and Power in Victorian England Theme Icon
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
Lady Audley scolds Phoebe for her association with Luke, who has become a groom at Audley Court and whom... (full context)
Poverty and Wealth Theme Icon
Lady Audley says Phoebe shouldn’t marry Luke if she’s afraid of him, but if she insists on marrying him,... (full context)
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Madness Theme Icon
Lady Audley meets with Luke and Phoebe and promises them 50 pounds. Luke demands 100 pounds. Lady Audley turns to Phoebe and... (full context)
Volume 1, Chapter 15
Poverty and Wealth Theme Icon
Luke and Phoebe get married and move into their public house in the village of Mount Stanning. The... (full context)
Women and Power in Victorian England Theme Icon
Poverty and Wealth Theme Icon
Phoebe cries as she and Luke leave their hometown. Luke says that she didn’t have to... (full context)
Volume 1, Chapter 17
Poverty and Wealth Theme Icon
Phoebe shows Robert through the Castle Inn, which has cheaply made, thin plaster walls. It is... (full context)
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
Poverty and Wealth Theme Icon
Phoebe still dresses modestly, unlike what one would expect from a wealthy innkeeper’s wife. Robert thinks... (full context)
Women and Power in Victorian England Theme Icon
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
Poverty and Wealth Theme Icon
...that he would live in a more exciting place if someone hadn’t been so stingy. Phoebe tries to distract her husband with chores. Luke continues to complain about someone being stingy,... (full context)
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
...have powerful secrets on someone, or more likely, Luke’s wife holds the secrets. Robert observes Phoebe’s already pale face grow paler. With that, Robert says goodnight and goes to bed. (full context)
Volume 1, Chapter 18
Women and Power in Victorian England Theme Icon
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
The next morning, Robert is lounging at the breakfast table when Phoebe announces that Lady Audley has come to see him. Lady Audley comes in looking as... (full context)
Volume 2, Chapter 13
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The knocking repeats before Lady Audley opens the door to find Phoebe Marks. Lady Audley is genuinely happy to see Phoebe, because they are similar in both... (full context)
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Phoebe reveals that Robert is at the Castle Inn right now. Lady Audley suspects Robert is... (full context)
Women and Power in Victorian England Theme Icon
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
...same place. She knows the drunken Luke will only become cruel if she doesn’t pay. Phoebe says this should be the last payment, since she wants Luke to leave the Castle... (full context)
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
Poverty and Wealth Theme Icon
Phoebe fears they will all die in a fire, because when Luke becomes drunk he leaves... (full context)
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Phoebe hands Lady Audley a letter from Robert. The letter states that if Helen is still... (full context)
Volume 3, Chapter 1
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...Then she walks to her dressing table and composes herself in the mirror. She tells Phoebe they will go together to pay the landlord at the Castle Inn. She ignores Phoebe’s... (full context)
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Lady Audley sends Phoebe on ahead and goes to get dresses to go out. An “unnatural colour still burnt... (full context)
Women and Power in Victorian England Theme Icon
...died. She says she will not go back to that life and goes to meet Phoebe. Together they walk to Castle Inn. (full context)
Women and Power in Victorian England Theme Icon
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
...brutal nature and slurs his speech. With mechanical gestures, Lady Audley enters the room with Phoebe and announces that she has come to settle the debts herself. Luke rudely tells her... (full context)
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Lady Audley pays Luke and Phoebe offers to walk her home. Lady Audley agrees but says that she feels faint and... (full context)
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...in a trance, she turns the key twice, double locking the door. She goes into Phoebe’s room next door and dips her hair in the water basin. Then she notices the... (full context)
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
Phoebe is waiting by the inn’s front door when Lady Audley arrives. Phoebe is alarmed when... (full context)
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
Madness Theme Icon
When they are less than a mile away from Audley Court, Phoebe spots the fire off in the distance. Phoebe is horrified, certain it’s the Castle Inn.... (full context)
Volume 3, Chapter 3
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...in time to save Luke, but not before Luke was horribly burned. Afterwards, Luke and Phoebe told Robert that Lady Audley had visited the inn that night. (full context)
Volume 3, Chapter 7
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Clara’s letter states that Luke is in failing health and both he and Phoebe wish to see Robert before Luke dies. Robert smokes his pipe and has pleasant dreams... (full context)
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Through the cottage window, Robert sees Luke’s wife and mother watching over him. Robert waits while Mr. Dawson tends to Luke. He listens... (full context)
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Phoebe watches Luke, fearing death itself but not the loss of her husband. Phoebe has made... (full context)
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Phoebe takes Robert aside and says Luke doesn’t remember anything of the night of the fire,... (full context)
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Luke demands to speak to Robert alone. Phoebe agrees, but tells him not to say anything against “those that have been good and... (full context)
Volume 3, Chapter 8
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...asks his mother if she remembers when he worked at a neighbor’s farm before marrying Phoebe. He asks if she remembers him bringing home a gentleman covered in mud and slime... (full context)
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Luke says that on the 7th of September he went to visit Phoebe at Audley Court. As he snuck through the lime-walk, he heard a man groaning in... (full context)
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Luke then went to Audley Court to visit Phoebe in the garden. When he tried to sit on the well, Phoebe yelled at him... (full context)
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Phoebe started crying and told Luke she was sitting by a window yesterday when she saw... (full context)