Mary Elizabeth Braddon

Lady Audley’s Secret

  • 68-page comprehensive study guide
  • Features 42 chapter summaries and 6 sections of expert analysis
  • Written by a literary scholar with a PhD in English and a Master's degree in Philosophy
Access Full Summary

Lady Audley’s Secret Volume 2: Chapters 1-5 Summary & Analysis

Volume 2 

Chapter 1 Summary: The Writing in the Book

Robert takes out the document he has drawn up concerning George’s disappearance, adding the results of his latest investigations. He then takes a group of keys out of his pockets and tries each one to see if it will unlock George’s trunk. The fifth key works and Robert mutters that there would be no need for anyone to break such a lock. Sorting through the myriad of objects, Robert fails to locate what he is looking for—the letters from George’s wife.

Putting the items away, Robert tries to take his mind off things by reading, but this is in vain. He starts pacing the room, asking himself whether he should continue with his investigations. Despite his agitation, he is filled with new determination.

Robert examines some books that he has removed from George’s case, including an annual that he leafs through in the hope of finding a scrap of valuable evidence. He finds a ring of hair similar in color to that which the landlady at Ventnor gave to George after Helen’s death; however, its texture is wavier. Robert is about the put the annual back when he notices two blank pages stuck together. Prying them apart, he finds an inscription in three parts. The third part was written by Helen, and Robert’s face pales upon seeing it— his fears have been confirmed. He now decides that George’s son must be placed in better hands.

Chapter 2 Summary: Mrs. Plowson

Among the letters that Robert finds is one from George’s father, Harcourt Talboys. Robert had written to him following George’s disappearance but his reply merely reiterates that he has cut all ties with George and that this “disappearance” is typically preposterous behavior. Robert is inclined to give up on Mr. Talboys but feels the need to ask for his advice. First, however, he needs to pay a visit to George’s father-in-law.

Mr. Maldon is not at home, but Robert talks with the young George and asks him how he would like to go to school. George replies that he would like it very much. Throughout this…

This is just a preview. The entire section has 2193 words. Click below to download the full study guide for Lady Audley’s Secret.