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Lady Audley's Giantly Hidden Secret Readalong: "Is it *me* the flying female wants?"

We read more and SO much happened. By which I mean Robert got booted from Audley Court because Lady Audley didn't want him SNOOPING, he moved to Phoebe the Albino and Her Abusive Cousin-Husband's public house, he chased Lady Audley to London which she then departed from looking VERY SMUG INDEED, then he dropped Smaller George at a boarding school and fell in love with a girl who is of course totally not the socially acceptable version of her brother.

I don't think you would even say that, Robert

Oh, Victorian Age and siblings and the weird literary sexual issues pertaining to both. This subject was my JAM last year when I was determined to prove Helena Landless and Rosa Bud would, if Edwin Drood were ever finished, be opening a vegan bakery together, if you know what I mean. Despite lines like

'I can answer for you,' laughed Helena, searching the lovely little face with her dark, fiery eyes, and tenderly caressing the small figure. 'You will be a friend to me, won't you?'

Dickens put all the directly-stated desire for Rosa onto Neville, Helena's twin. Not ok for the two people you're talking about to venture into the realm of open-mouth kissing? Stick one of them with the other's brother or sister and you're a-okay.

Some Things:

1) "Justice to the dead first," he said; "mercy to the living afterward."

Robert Audley is a BAMF

2) Every now and then, Braddon sneaks in some really good writing, and I'm all surprised because I thought she wasn't done bashing us over the head with how pale Phoebe Marks is.

There were no shady nooks in his character into which one could creep for shelter from his hard daylight. He was all daylight. He looked at everything in the same broad glare of intellectual sunlight, and would see no softening shadows that might alter the sharp outlines of cruel facts, subduing them to beauty.

I actually take that back a little, because she'll have these glimmers of really good writing, but then be like "WAIT LET ME SAY IT AGAIN. Did you get it that time? I don't think you did." And it makes me sad, because we need more awesome lady novelists. Also because she actually seems like a really hilarious person and if I ever get to time travel and run into her, I'd like to honestly admire her writing while we split some eel in a tavern (ugh, England, you're gross).

3) If afternoon isn't at 3 o'clock, when is it?

Very excited about Robert and Clara. Shipping it. Shipping it hard. "Her beauty was elevated into sublimity by the intensity of her suppressed passion" INDEED.


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