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About the Author: Wilkie Collins

A close friend of Charles Dickens' from their meeting in March 1851 until Dickens' death in June 1870, William "Wilkie" Collins was one of the best known, best loved, and, for a time, best paid of Victorian fiction writers. But after his death, his reputation declined as Dickens' bloomed. Now, Collins is being given more critical and popular attention than he has received for fifty years. Most of his books are in print, and all are now in e-text. He is studied widely; new film, television, and radio versions of some of his books have been made; and all of his letters have been published. However, there is still much to be discovered about this superstar of Victorian fiction.
Born in Marylebone, London in 1824, Collins' family enrolled him at the Maida Hill Academy in 1835, but then took him to France and Italy with them between 1836 and 1838. Returning to England, Collins attended Cole's boarding school, and completed his education in 1841, after which he was apprenticed to the tea merchants Antrobus & Co. in the Strand. In 1846, Collins became a law student at Lincoln's Inn, and was called to the bar in 1851, although he never practiced. It was in 1848, a year after the death of his father, that he published his first book, The Memoirs of the Life of William Collins, Esq., R.A., to good reviews. The 1860s saw Collins' creative high-point, and it was during this decade that he achieved fame and critical acclaim, with his four major novels, The Woman in White (1860), No Name (1862), Armadale (1866) and The Moonstone (1868). The Moonstone, meanwhile is seen by many as the first true detective novel T. S. Eliot called it "the first, the longest, and the best of modern English detective novels...in a genre invented by Collins and not by Poe.


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Goodreads rating: 3.67

Paperback, Published in Jan 2008 by Book Jungle

ISBN10: 1605970034 | ISBN13: 9781605970035

Page count: 284

Wilkie Collins was an English novelist, poet, and playwright writing in the mid 19th century. His writing was very popular consisting of 27 novels, 50 short stories, 15 plays and over 100 poems. His best-known works were The Woman in White, The Moonstone and Armadale. Collins was greatly influenced by his friend Charles Dickens. . In The New Magdalen Collins attacks the attitudes of society toward the fallen woman. The year was 1870, which was the time of the war between France and Germany. The characters in the story are Captain Arnault, of the French army; Surgeon Surville, of the French ambulance corps; Surgeon Wetzel, of the German army; Mercy Merrick, attached as nurse to the French ambulance corps; and Grace Roseberry, a traveling lady on her way to England.

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