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By Mary Elizabeth Braddon

Aurora Floyd is among the major novels within the style often called ‘sensation fiction’—a culture within which the foremost texts comprise Wilkie Collins’s the lady in White, Ellen Wood’s East Lynne, and Dickens’s nice expectancies. while Aurora Floyd used to be first released in serial shape in 1862-63, Fraser’s journal asserted that “a ebook with no homicide, a divorce, a seduction, or a bigamy, isn't really it appears thought of both worthy writing or interpreting; and a secret and a mystery are the executive skills of the fashionable novel.” the radical depicts a heroine trapped in an abusive and adulterous marriage, and successfully dramatizes the extra-legal pressures which stored many such unsatisfied marriages out of the courts: worry of private scandal, and of betraying one’s relations throughout the exposure and price of the method. Aurora’s bigamous marriage dramatizes the necessity for expeditions divorce with out the big social expense, however the overt sexuality of the heroine surprised modern critics. “What is held as much as us because the tale of the female soul because it quite exists beneath its traditional coverings, is a truly fleshy and unlovely record,” wrote Margaret Oliphant. Braddon’s textual content is studded with references to modern occasions (the Crimean warfare, the Divorce Act of 1857) and the textual content has been conscientiously annotated for contemporary readers during this variation, which additionally features a variety of files designed to aid set the textual content in context.

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Finally, we would like to thank Jane Strickler for her always insightful comments and suggestions. E. Braddon 1 In the 1860s English novelists including Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Wilkie Collins, and Charles Reade diverged from contemporary literary practice to create the sensation novel - a genre which, to the dismay of critics, seriously challenged social and cultural ideologies. Sensation fiction was initially perceived as a shockingly new and threatening kind of literature; however, novels like Braddon's Aurora Floyd actually emerged out of recently established Victorian institutions such as the penny press and the divorce court.

The George Eliot Letters, vol. 4 (New Haven: Yale UP, 1954) 30910. 10 Patrick Brantlinger, What is Sensational about the Sensation Novel, NineteenthCentury Fiction 37:1 (June 1982): 27. 11 Lyn Pykett, The Improper Feminine: The Women's Sensation Novel and the New Woman Writing (London: Routledge, 1992) 30. D. Edwards, Introduction, Aurora Floyd, by Mary Elizabeth Braddon (Oxford: OUP, 1996) ix. 3, 592. 14 Brantlinger, 9. Page 31 15 Anthea Trodd, Domestic Crime in the Victorian Novel (London: Macmillan, 1989) 1213.

We are grateful for the financial support of the University of Victoria President's Committee on Faculty Research and Travel and the St. Francis Xavier University Council for Research. Finally, we would like to thank Jane Strickler for her always insightful comments and suggestions. E. Braddon 1 In the 1860s English novelists including Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Wilkie Collins, and Charles Reade diverged from contemporary literary practice to create the sensation novel - a genre which, to the dismay of critics, seriously challenged social and cultural ideologies.

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