East Lynne is an English sensation novel of 1861 by Ellen Wood. A Victorian bestseller, it is remembered chiefly for its elaborate and implausible plot, centring on infidelity and double identities. There have been numerous stage and film adaptations.
The much-"quoted" line "Gone! And never called me mother!" (variant: "Dead! Dead! And never called me mother!") does not appear in the book; both variants come from later stage adaptations.
The book was originally serialised in The New Monthly Magazine between January 1860 and September 1861, being issued as a three-volume novel on 19 September 1861.
Lady Isabel Carlyle, a beautiful and refined young woman, leaves her hard-working lawyer-husband, Carlyle, and her infant children to elope with an aristocratic suitor, Francis Levison, after wrongfully suspecting and becoming jealous of her husband's friendship with Barbara Hare. However once abroad with Levison she realises he has no intention of marrying her, despite her now having had his child, now illegitimate. After he deserts her, and she bears their illegitimate child, Lady Isabel is disfigured in a train accident and the child is killed. Following this Isobel is able to take the position of governess in the household of her former husband and his new wife allowing her to be close to her children but which also becomes a source of great misery. The pressure of keeping up a façade and being constantly reminded that her husband has moved on eventually physically weakens her. On her deathbed she tells all to Carlyle who forgives her.
Undated but research suggests c1895.
Excellent pages, some edge and board wear.