Sunday Poetry – Mary Elizabeth Braddon

I’ve started dipping into this Oxford anthology of 19th century poetry by women edited by Isobel Armstrong, Joseph Bristow & Cath Sharrock. I’ve chosen a poem by Mary Elizabeth Braddon, one of my favourite novelists. She only published one collection of poetry, in 1861, but, as she was supporting her family, she probably found that her sensation novels paid much better. This is called To A Coquette, & I can imagine many of her upright heroes saying these words to her duplicitous, but fascinating, heroines.
Braddon was also in my mind this week as I’ve bought the ebook of Valancourt Press’s new edition of her late novel, Dead Love Has Chains. This wasn’t included in the Delphi collection I bought recently & I’m looking forward to reading it.

I had planned to write a review of the new Lord Peter Wimsey novel by Jill Paton Walsh, The Late Scholar, this afternoon. But, it’s the end of a long hot week &, even though the cool change has arrived, it’s still quite humid (without any rain which is the only thing that would make the humidity bearable). So, I hope to post a review later in the week when I have more energy. I did enjoy the book, though. Peter & Harriet back in Oxford with lots of references to their last visit there in Gaudy Night & cameo appearances from several of the dons.

Lady, in thy radiant eyes,
A depth of deadly falsehood lies;
Lady, from thy low replies
Bitter memories arise
That recall past agonies;
When I hung upon thy sighs,
when I deemed thee true as wise;
But Time’s wings, as fast he flies,
Sweep youth’s stars from manhood’s skies;
And I know thy fairest guise
Only masks thy cruelties.

8 thoughts on “Sunday Poetry – Mary Elizabeth Braddon

  1. That poem does make one think about her women characters, some of whom are definitely hiding things behind their lovely facades. (We had 42 degrees yesterday and a delicious lower 20s today — the relief of being able to think properly again!)


  2. It feels a lot cooler now but I'd have loved some rain to fill up my tanks. They're sort of, maybe promising some rain at the end of the week so I have my fingers crossed.


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