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Synopsis

Wilkie Collins's The New Magdalen (1873) opens in France in 1870 - the year of the war between France and Germany. Mercy, a former prostitute and nurse with the French ambulance service during the war, assumes the identity of an Englishwoman, Lady Roseberry, in order to live a secure and respectable life. All comes to naught when her identity is revealed. Treating the themes of deception and class prejudices, Collins attacks Victorian society for its attitude towards fallen women.

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