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The Woman in White
 
 

The Woman in White [Kindle Edition]

Wilkie Collins
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (423 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Review

"To convey the sensationalism of The Woman in White, Bachman and Cox wisely choose the original, serialized version as their copy text. A thoughtful introduction places the novel in context, explaining its importance to sensation fiction, outlining its concern with the problem of identity and with constructions of madness, and discussing its narrative structure as well as its later stage adaptation. The appendices are especially useful, with their material on Victorian gender ideologies and Victorian psychology, including letters, articles, and reports illuminating the 'panic' over false incarceration for insanity."--Lillian Nayder

Big Issue

`A tense, dark and action-packed thriller...undeniably essential reading'

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1411 KB
  • Print Length: 396 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1490956565
  • Publisher: HarperPerennial Classics (10 Dec 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00GG0HCUO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (423 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #133,135 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

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.


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
86 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely excellent - read it already! 14 Mar 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Wonderfully entertaining stuff - this is essentially a pre-television soap opera, much like the novels of Dickens or George Eliot.
The essentials of the story are as follows: our hero is a young painter hired as tutor to a young heiress. The lady in question is remarkably pretty, innocent, sweet-tempered (etc etc) and inevitably our hero falls for her hook, line & sinker. Needless to say the path of true love doesn't run smoothly and not only are they separated, but the heiress is subject to the wicked plots of marvellously nefarious villains.
Sounds cheesy as anything, I know; but the story is fast paced, convoluted and frequently (intentionally!) very funny. Because Collins employs a first person narrative technique, telling his tale through one character's diary then another one's letters, we are allowed an insight into the thoughts and speech patterns of a wide range of characters. Some of them are downright hilarious - particularly our heroine's outrageously camp uncle. As so often happens, it is the secondary (and indeed bit-part) characters who are the most entertaining - the fabulous Marianne (just wait till you read that initial description of her appearance! The contrast between standards of beauty now & then is remarkable...although granted it sounds like she needed immac for that top lip of hers) and the indomitable Count with his pet white mice scampering around, to name my two favourites - and undoubtedly your own. What are you waiting for?
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51 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most wonderful book I have ever read 7 Jun 2001
Format:Paperback
I took a few pages to click into the Victorian narrative but once I was into it, it gripped from start to finish. This book has the most wonderfully drawn characters and because it switches narrators several times ( Wilkie Collins does this to great effect also in 'The Moonstone') you are just getting lulled into the perspective of one person, when you are then gently jolted and led along by another.
If you want a book with love, romance, mystery and an undercurrent of the sinister running through it I promise you will not be disappointed. You will then be so hooked by Wilkie Collin's writing style that you will want to devour the rest of his books immediately.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Victorian mystery & intrigue 5 Nov 2009
By Boof TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Chilling, thrilling, mysterious and very dramatic! A mysterious figure, a woman in white, appears out of nowhere on a London street at midnight - she is running away from someone or something. The only person she meets on that lonely road is Walter Hartright, an Art teacher, and little does he know it but he is about to have his life tured upside down. Mysterious letters, ghostly figures by gravesides, kidnapping and poison all follow through the next 700 pages and not a word is wasted! Narrated by several different characters, all portraying their their own experiences, the reader sees the story unfolding before them.

Written as a serialised stroy in a weekly newspaper in 1860, you can almost hear the curtain falling and the audience gasping at the end of each chapter. I could just imagie myself waiting excitedly for each installment to come out to find out what happens next just as they would have when it was published. For a victorian novel, The Woman in White is incredibly fast paced with some of the best characters I have ever come across.

I just loved this book from start to finish. This is what a book should be - something that makes you think about it when you can't get to it and excited to pick it up again. Bravo Mr Collins!! I can't wait to read more of your work.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eat your heart out Raymond Chandler 9 May 2003
Format:Paperback
A barnstorming doorstop (pardon the mixed metaphores) of a book. Has to be read at one sitting, I know I've done it, and according to the blurb so did Gladstone. So no slacking at the back. The characterisation is magnificently overdone, the plot is brilliantly worked out. It's got remote asylums, spooky mansions, ghostly apparitions, swirling fogs and the first sight of "The Woman in White". Oh how I envy you, just drop your modernist standards and have a good old fashioned wallow. Throw another log on the radiator send the kids to your mother for the weekend (there's approx 2 inches of paperback to get through) give in and get on with it.
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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAME TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
This advice for writing serial romances, alternately attributed to Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens, and Charles Reade, is epitomized in this 1860 novel by Collins, a story of thwarted love, a marriage of obligation, claims on inheritance, the victimization of women, and, most of all, engaging mystery. Collins, often credited as the father of the mystery genre, creates a fast-paced story of Victorian England, revealing much about Victorian society and its values--the role of women, the laws governing marriage and inheritance, the social institutions of the day, the contrasting attitudes toward the aristocracy and the lower classes, and even the level of medical care and the treatment of psychological illness.

When drawing master Walter Hartright is on his way to teach Marian Halcombe and Laura Fairlie at Limmeridge House, in Cumberland, England, he meets a "woman in white," a young woman who knows Limmeridge House well because she was mentored by Mrs. Fairlie, Laura Fairlie's deceased mother. The "woman in white" is Anne Catherick, who looks just like Laura, but who is an escapee from a nearby mental asylum. Upon his arrival at Limmeridge House, Walter immediately falls in love with the beautiful Laura, but she has made a deathbed pledge to her father to marry to Sir Percival Glyde, someone Anne Catherick despises and blames for her own incarceration. Throughout the novel, Anne visits various characters to offer help in combating Sir Percival and his cohorts.

The story unfolds through documents held by a variety of characters, each of whom tells the story from his/her own point of view.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great story
Published 1 day ago by Mrs Joanne L. McCord
5.0 out of 5 stars good to be introduced to authors not heard of before
wouldnt have chosen it ordinarily but realy enjoyed it.
Published 5 days ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars U received bok
Did not receive this
Published 6 days ago by Elaine
4.0 out of 5 stars A good story
The story is full of twists and turns. My only problem with it was the language of the time which is overly pedantic and flowery. Read more
Published 7 days ago by Julia Anne West
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
good read
Published 9 days ago by linda tomkins
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written.
Couldn't put it down. Very well written in the old fashioned way.
Published 12 days ago by Holly GoLightly
5.0 out of 5 stars Like Moonstone, this is a wonderful book by a ...
Like Moonstone, this is a wonderful book by a fantastic storyteller, unjustly hidden by the shadow of his great contemporary, Dickens. Read more
Published 13 days ago by Moonraker
5.0 out of 5 stars I absolutely LOVE this book
I absolutely LOVE this book. I had to buy it for my AS English course, but I'd read it previously, fantastic book!
Published 13 days ago by DraculasLittleGirl
1.0 out of 5 stars not my type of book
Extremely long detailed descriptions tgat are unnecessary fill half of the book. The story is narrated in a very slow manner and makes you lose interest very quickly
Published 13 days ago by Laura Santos
5.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed the story with it's many twists and turns
I really enjoyed the story with it's many twists and turns. The way it's written is very clever with narration changing according to which of the characters is involved at the... Read more
Published 16 days ago by violetta
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