Psychological Fiction: The Origins of a Genre

I had recently decided to read something completely different to what I’d normally choose, and picked up a copy of Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon, which I highly recommend. First published in 1862, it became widely known in Victorian England as a piece of ‘sensation fiction’ and helped to launch a new genre. This new genre, full of tales of crime and sexual transgression, dominated the market for years, even though critics of the time didn’t favour it. Braddon herself wanted people to look deeper into the genre, asking, ‘Can the sensation be elevated by art?’

Mary Elizabeth Braddon

 

The book covers topics that all go against the norms and values of the time and Victorian womanhood. On one hand a young wife and mother is abandoned by her husband, exploited by her father and has to ensure the safety of her son – thus gaining the readers sympathy. On the other hand, this same woman covers her tracks, attempts murder, is defiant and shows no remorse – losing the sympathy the reader had for her. Continue reading

Tilbury Talks To… Yvonne Bastian

Today, Tilbury Talks To… Yvonne Bastian. Welcome to my blog Yvonne, please introduce yourself.

I have always loved reading from a very young age. I am originally from Lincolnshire and have lived in several places before finally settling down here in Cornwall and yes there are many, many books that have stayed with me and travelled with me. Over the years my reading taste has changed, I used to read certain genres for a couple of years and then move to something else when I felt the magic dwindling. Now however I read a large range, so from genre binger to genre butterfly. It was about 18 months ago when I started my blog and in that time I have read and reviewed a whole range of different books.

 

What went through my head when I decided to be a book blogger?
I had no idea there was such a thing and then when I stumbled across this I was so excited. I had spent the previous two years reading quite a few of the classics and didn’t review them, well apart from saying “I really enjoyed this”. This was because the reviews I had seen were so intimidating, people using those big fancy words I didn’t understand, often thinking it was as if I was reading a thesis rather than a review. Though I did write my own thoughts of the book on paper, that is where they stayed. Then at the beginning of 2017 I decided I wanted to read something modern and up to date, that was when I discovered that people wrote reviews that I understood, they conveyed what they liked or loved and why the book worked for them. I realised that this was something that I was already doing on paper, and then the lightbulb moment when I realised this was something that I could do and also wanted to do. Continue reading