This advert for The Dead Secret appeared at the end of the Christmas number of Household Words 'The Wreck of the Golden Mary' dated 6 December 1856 and is the first reference to the book in print. Similar but smaller adverts appeared at the end of Household Words issues of 20 and 27 December. Unusually, Wilkie was named. Normally all contributions to the weekly were anonymous.

The Dead Secret began serialisation in Household Words on 3 January 1856 and ran weekly until 13 June, omitting 4 April. It also ran in the United States in the new Harper's Weekly between 24 January and 27 June and also in Littell's Living Age between 28 February and 18 July.

The rather unprepossessing opening of The Dead Secret in Household Words. It was the first of Wilkie's novels to appear in serial form. 

All material on these pages is Paul Lewis 1997-2000