Present Tense Book Review – Lady Audley’s Secret: Part 2

(Part One of this Present Tense Book Review.)

Robert Audley is still assiduously trying to uncover the eponymous secret, and entertaining me while he does so. He’s a bit of an odd character, and he reminds me of myself, sometimes. He likes his idle pleasures, is phlegmatic (in a good sense), and looks after any stray dogs that come his way. But when he does have something to do, he sets about it with a single-minded obstinacy. There’s a smashing quote from Bob, when talking to his melodramatic (and smitten) cousin, Alicia:

“Life is such a very troublesome matter, when all is said and done, that it’s as well to take even its blessings quietly. I don’t make a great howling because I can get good cigars one door from the corner of Chancery Lane, and have a dear, good girl for my cousin: but I am not the less grateful to Providence that it is so.”

An unusual aspect to the story is Bob’s motivation: his friendship with the missing George, and the impact of his absence. He’s also concerned about his family, and there are a couple of eyelash-fluttering lovelies involved, but, for me, the chief strand running through the narrative is the friendship between two men, which I don’t recall having often encountered in fiction.

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