Book - 1995
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"When the elderly Allan Armadale makes a terrible confession on his death-bed, he has little idea of the repercussions to come, for the secret her reveals involves the mysterious Lydia Swilt: flame-haired temptress, bigamist, laudanum addict and husband-poisoner. Her malicious intrigues fuel the plot of this gripping melodrama: a tale of confused identities, inherited curses, romantic rivalries, espionage, money--and murder. The character of Lydia Gwilt horrified contemporary critics, with one reviewer describing her as 'one of the most hardened female villains whose devices and desires have ever blackened fiction'. She remains among the most enigmatic and fascinating women in nineteenth-century literature and the dark heart of htis most sensational of Victorian 'sensation novels'."--Back cover.
Publisher: London : Penguin, [1995]
ISBN: 9780140434118
Branch Call Number: COLLINS W
Characteristics: xxxiv, 714 pages ; 20 cm
Additional Contributors: Sutherland, John 1938-


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Jan 20, 2017

Wanted to read this, but very disappointed in how the book itself is represented. There is only one choice to request, but what I received was Volume #? of collected works. Armadale is split between two volumes, and the copy I got started with Chapter #4. Library should be better at this-------

Jan 19, 2015

Armadale is like an encyclopedia of 19th century sensational fiction. If the story has a theme, it is that of twins. As outlined in the description above, there are at least two each of the following: young men named Allan Armadale, shipwrecks, poisonings, heroines, guilty secrets, elderly advisers, abusive childhoods, and much more. You may ask: is there no insane asylum? But yes, eventually there is. Armadale is wildly overlong, but repays the patient and sympathetic reader. One of the things worth waiting for is Lydia Gwilt, a heroine/villainess on a par with Becky Sharp. BONUS: the first mainstream 19th century novel to use, to my knowledge, words like "sexuality".


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