At the centre of Hide and Seek (1854) a secret waits to be revealed. Why should the apparently respectable painter Valentine Blyth refuse to account for the presence in his household of the beautiful girl known as Madonna? It is not until his young friend Zack Thorpe, who is in rebellion against his repressive father, gets into bad company and meets a mysterious stranger that the secret of Madonna can be unravelled. Wilkie Collins's third novel, dedicated to his life-long friend Dickens, is a story in which excitement is combined with charm and humour. In its mixture of the everyday and the extraordinary, Hide and Seek forms a bridge between the domestic novel and the sensational fiction for which Collins later became famous. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
Wilkie Collins was born in London in 1824, the eldest son of the landscape painter William Collins. In 1846, having spent five years in the tea business, he was entered to read for the bar at Lincoln's Inn, where he gained the legal knowledge that was to give him much material for his writing.
From the early fifties, he was a friend of Charles Dickens, acting with him, contributing to Household Words, travelling with him on the Continent. Dickens produced and acted in two melodramas written by Collins, The Lighthouse (1855) and The Frozen Deep (1857).
Collins is best remembered for his novels, particularly The Woman in White (1860) and The Moonstone (1868), which T. S. Eliot called 'the first, the longest, and the best of modern English detective novels'. His later, and at the time rather sensational, novels include The New Magdalen (1873) and The Law and The Lady (1875). Collins also braved the moral censure of the Victorian age by keeping two women (and their households) while marrying neither. He died in 1889.