`Isabel Gilbert was not a woman of the world. She had read novels while other people perused the Sunday papers...she believed in a phantasmal world created out of the pages of poets and romancers.'
The Doctor's Wife is Mary Elizabeth Braddon's rewriting of Flaubert's Madame Bovary in which she explores her heroine's sense of entrapment and alienation in middle-class provincial life married to a good natured but bovine husband who seems incapable of understanding his wife's imaginative life and feelings. A woman with a secret, adultery, death and the spectacle of female recrimination and suffering are the elements which combine to make The Doctor's Wife a classic women's
sensation novel. Yet, The Doctor's Wife is also a self-consciously literary novel, in which Braddon attempts to transcend the sensation genre. This is the only edition of a fascinating and engrossing work, and reproduces uncut the first three-volume edition of 1864.
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