Exploring the theme of marginality in Mary Elizabeth Braddon novels from The Trail of the Serpent (1861) to The Infidel (1900), Anne-Marie Beller makes astute connections between the marginalized position of the female popular novelist and the marginalized subject in Braddon's fiction. In so doing, she shows how this persistent theme in Braddon's fiction is used to scrutinize contemporary dominant discourses that worked to exclude those constructed as other in Victorian culture and helped Braddon to negotiate her own position as a female popular writer. In addition to writing more than 80 novels, Braddon published plays, poems, and essays and edited two magazines, Belgravia and Mistletoe Bough. Though she was one of the bestselling female authors of the nineteenth century, she remained on the boundaries of a contemporary literary discourse that devalued and delegitimised both female writing and popular, nonrealist forms. As she explores the ways in which Braddon's position was shaped by the double constraints of gender and genre, Beller shows that Braddon's sympathetic treatment of the outcast allowed her to question the conventional views on issues as varied as criminal justice, the treatment of the poor, the cult of female dependency, and the maternal instinct. Placing Braddon's bestselling fiction in the wider context of contemporary society, Beller traces the ways in which the demands of Victorian authorship, particularly with respect to the female popular writer's position in the literary marketplace, influenced resistance to the dominant ideology.