A Life's Secret (Hardcover)
A Life's Secret: A Novel (1862) is a novel by Mrs. Henry Wood. Written towards the beginning of her career as a leading English novelist of the Victorian era, A Life's Secret: A Novel is a sweeping exploration of class, society, and the dangers of keeping secrets. Blending several literary genres, including mystery and romance, Wood's novel is a masterful and underappreciated work of fiction that remains essential nearly two centuries after it was published Orphaned at a young age, Austin Clay has found success working for his uncle, a builder. When his uncle dies unexpectedly, the young man moves to London, where he hopes to make a name for himself despite his limited upbringing. There, he meets the young Florence, a twelve-year-old girl whose uncle Clay rescues from a near-deadly accident. As the years go by, Austin and Florence develop a budding romance, but are unable to marry without the approval of her uncle, Mr. Hunter. Meanwhile, Hunter is forced to defend himself from the blackmail of Miss Gwinn, who threatens to reveal his darkest secret and to derail his successful business. The story unfolds as a moving portrait of the burgeoning labor movement, the complexities of class in Victorian England, and the threat posed to religious values by an expanding industrial world. A Life's Secret: A Novel is a sweeping tale of two men tied by fate whose divergent backgrounds clash while bringing them together in the end. Hopeful in the face of poverty and hardship, Wood relies on her traditional ideals to critique and examine life in nineteenth century England, crafting compelling characters and complex plots to do so. While not her most popular work, A Life's Secret: A Novel is a work of its time that remains relevant in our own. With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of Mrs. Henry Wood's A Life's Secret: A Novel is a classic work of English literature reimagined for modern readers.