Braddon Road, TW9

Place Name

Mary Elizabeth Braddon (October 4, 1835 – February 4, 1915) was a popular novelist of the Victorian era best known for her 1862 sensation novel Lady Audley’s Secret, was also a regular contributor to Punch magazine and in 1866 founded the Belgravia magazine. This presented readers with serialised sensation novels, poems, travel narratives and biographies, as well as essays on fashion, history and science. Braddon, was the partner of publisher John Maxwell who was also a member of the vestry (a prototype parish council) and property speculator. In 1865 George Robinson’s extensive estate was sold at auction for “Residences of a superior Class”. Maxwell bought several plots and named three streets on her honour. The couple had met in 1860 and moved in together the following year. However, Maxwell was already married with five children, his wife being confined in a mental asylum in Ireland. Braddon acted as stepmother to his children until 1874, when Maxwell’s wife died and they were able to get married. She had six children by him. Her home had been Lichfield House in the centre of the town, which was replaced by a block of flats in 1936, Lichfield Court, now listed. Her brother, Edward Braddon, left for India and later Australia, where he became Premier of Tasmania.



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