Rogues & Vagabonds

theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013…

Miss Flora Robson Has a Secret…

Miss Flora Robson as Lady Audley, by Ethel Léontine Gabain, 1933

Miss Flora Robson as Lady Audley, by Ethel Léontine Gabain, 1933

Mary Elizabeth Braddon‘s sensational 1862 novel, Lady Audley’s Secret, was first adapted for the stage in 1863. In 1930, Tyrone Guthrie [1900-1971] produced a version for the Cambridge Festival Theatre with Flora Robson as Lady Audley.

Ethel Léontine Gabain [1883-1950] was a British painter and printmaker. Born in France to a French father and Scottish mother, she was educated in England and studied art in London and Paris. Gabain was awarded  the De Laszlo Silver Medal for this painting.

Flora Robson [1902-1984] was never a beauty, as she freely admitted, but she had that ‘little something extra’ that made her a powerful performer on stage and screen. She was made a Dame of the British Empire in 1960, having been awarded a CBE in 1952.

Elaine Showalter summed up the plot of  Lady Audley’s Secret thus in 1982: “Braddon’s bigamous heroine deserts her child, pushes husband number one down a well, thinks about poisoning husband number two and sets fire to a hotel in which her other male acquaintances are residing.”

Sarah Vernon © 20-05-15

2 comments on “Miss Flora Robson Has a Secret…

  1. The plot to Lady Audley’s Secret sounds completely insane! It makes some of the episodes of Law & Order and CSI seem quite tame by comparison 🙂

  2. First Night Design
    05/24/2015

    Hah! Yes.

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