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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.


The Moonstone Cover Image

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A Novel by

Goodreads rating: 3.89

Paperback, Published in Jul 2014 by Bourbon Street Books

ISBN10: 0062227319 | ISBN13: 9780062227317

Page count: 560

The Moonstone is one of the most famous suspense novels of all time: a masterpiece of construction and the ultimate page-turner, it introduced one of the world’s most beloved genres, the detective story.

At a party celebrating her eighteenth birthday, Rachel Verinder wears the stunning yellow diamond she unexpectedly inherited from her uncle, Colonel John Herncastle.

She is not aware that the precious gem, known as the Moonstone, has been missing since it was plundered from a sacred Hindu shrine in southern India where her uncle had served with the British army fifty years ago.

But someone knows the secret of the Moonstone and will go to desperate measures to retrieve it. When it goes missing later that night, suspicions are raised and accusations fly. Could it be a trio of mysterious Indian jugglers seen near the house? Or a love-struck housemaid suddenly behaving strangely? And there is Rachel herself, who becomes furious when her paramour, Franklin Blake, directs attempts to find it.

As divergent accounts reveal more details, the diamond’s recovery is complicated by unexpected twists and turns. Sifting through a compelling list of suspects, the indomitable Sergeant Cuff must find the truth about the Moonstone and its mysterious disappearance.

The Moonstone features 66 black and-white woodcut illustrations throughout.

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