An important sensation novel, Cometh Up as a Flower made Rhoda Broughtons reputation and fortune while also attracting harsh criticism. Nell LeStrange, the heroine, is tricked by her calculating sister into leaving her poor lover and marrying a wealthy man she does not love. What angered critics of the time was the heroines frank discussion of her sexual attraction to her lover, and her dispassionate evaluation of loveless marriage as a form of self-sale. Broughtons lively, colloquial narrative voice, witty observations of contemporary manners, and sympathetic portrayal of the lives and feelings of young women, though no longer shocking, are as engaging now as they were to her readers of 1867.
This Broadview Edition includes an extensive selection of appendices on the novels reception (including a parody of Broughton), Victorian discourses on health and medicine, and contemporary attitudes towards women, marriage, and sexuality.