The Woman in White Cover Image

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 a genre invented by Collins and not by Poe.

The Woman in White Cover Image

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Goodreads rating: 3.98

Paperback, Published in May 2008 by Wordsworth Editions

ISBN10: 1840220848 | ISBN13: 9781840220841

Page count: 502

With an Introduction and Notes by Scott Brewster, University of Central Lancashire.

Wilkie Collins is a master of mystery, and The Woman in White is his first excursion into the genre. When the hero, Walter Hartright, on a moonlit night in north London, encounters a solitary, terrified and beautiful woman dressed in white, he feels impelled to solve the mystery of her distress.

The intricate plot is peopled with a finely characterised cast, from the peevish invalid Mr Fairlie to the corpulent villain Count Fosco and the enigmatic woman herself.

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