Lady Audley’s Secret

Lady Audley’s Secret

by

Mary Elizabeth Braddon

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Lady Audley’s Secret: Volume 1, Chapter 9 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The storm actually does come to Audley Court and the nearby village that night. Robert spends the storm in his usual laziness, while George seems highly agitated. Robert believes that George is frightened by the lightning, even though George angrily denies this and walks out into the rain. They awake the next morning to the weather seeming calm once again, and George seems a little more cheerful than usual. George apologizes for his temper and proposes they do some more fishing before leaving for London.
Once again, Robert fails to look beyond the surface of his friend’s motivation and fails to understand the feelings of others. The storm represents George’s troubled mental state, as he no double wrestles with the revelation that Helen is not dead and is in fact living as Lady Audley, which he could have inferred from her portrait.
Themes
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
At Audley Court, Lady Audley has been up all night, claiming she was afraid of lightning and worrying her husband greatly. She seems much more energetic in the morning, laughing about how easily frightened she is by everyone and everything except for her husband. She then tells Alicia that she knows George and Robert were in her rooms because George left a glove behind.
Lady Audley may be agitated because she knows George saw her outside of Audley Court that night. She is also using Sir Michael’s love in order to manipulate him into feeling sympathy for her, building up her defenses in advance if she needs protection from George.
Themes
Women and Power in Victorian England Theme Icon
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
George and Robert go fishing. Robert falls asleep next to the stream. While he is asleep, George abandons his fishing and goes to Audley Court. Sir Michael and Alicia are out of the house and Lady Audley is on the lime-walk. George meets a servant at the front door of the house and mutters something about going to find the lady of the house.
The novel has previously associated the lime-walk with secrets, hinting at what George will be speaking to Lady Audley about. This is the pivotal moment in the plot where Robert is separated from George, driving Robert’s actions for the rest of the book.
Themes
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
An hour and a half later, Lady Audley returns to the house from the opposite direction of the lime-walk. Alicia has just returned from her ride and her dog growls at 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 appreciates her.
Lady Audley’s agitation suggests that something horrible happened between her and George out on the lime-walk. Also, the fact that Alicia’s dog hates Lady Audley implies that the animal can sense something about Lady Audley’s nature humans cannot.
Themes
Appearances and Deception Theme Icon
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