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Wilkie Collins
William Wilkie Collins was an English novelist, playwright, and author of short stories. His best-known works are The Woman in White, The Moonstone, Armadale, and No Name. Collins was born into the family of painter William Collins in London. He received his early education at home from his... show more
William Wilkie Collins was an English novelist, playwright, and author of short stories. His best-known works are The Woman in White, The Moonstone, Armadale, and No Name.

Collins was born into the family of painter William Collins in London. He received his early education at home from his mother. He then attended an academy and a private boarding school. He also traveled with his family to Italy and France, and learned the French and Italian languages. He served as a clerk in the firm of the tea merchants Antrobus & Co. His first novel Iolani, or Tahiti as It Was; a Romance, was rejected by publishers in 1845. His next novel, Antonina, was published in 1850. In 1851 he met Charles Dickens, and the two became close friends. A number of Collins's works were first published in Dickens's journals All the Year Round and Household Words. The two collaborated on several dramatic and fictional works, and some of Collins's plays were performed by Dickens's acting company.

Collins published his best known works in the 1860s, achieving financial stability and an international reputation. During this time he began suffering from gout, and developed an addiction to opium, which he took (in the form of laudanum) for pain. He continued to publish novels and other works throughout the 1870s and 80s, but the quality of his writing declined along with his health.
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Birth date: 1824-01-08
Died: 1889-09-23
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Lora Hates Spam
Lora Hates Spam rated it 10 months ago
by Wilkie Collins A woman dies in childbirth, leaving a mysterious letter for her husband in the hands of her maid. The first part of the story established a mystery; what was in the letter? Why is the maid reluctant to give it to the husband as instructed? I found myself quickly caught up and rea...
A Scottish-Canadian Blethering On About Books
This novella by Collins was first published in 1874 in the collection "The Frozen Deep and other stories" under the title "John Jago's Ghost; or The Dead Alive". Based on a real early 19th-century case, it is set in the US, and the solution to the mysterious disappearance/murder of John Jago is fair...
A Scottish-Canadian Blethering On About Books
Given his own socially unconventional attitudes (he had a well-documented disdain for the institution of marriage), I think it's unlikely that the plot of this novel - ostensibly a cautionary tale about choosing the rascal over the upright man for a husband - was anything more than a convenient trop...
A Scottish-Canadian Blethering On About Books
I found this story of a nerve-stricken man and his shattered marriage to be less entertaining than Collins' usual, mainly because it relies on an uncomfortable strain of anti-Catholicism - and associated mercenary motives - for its villain, Father Benwell, who is just about as stereotypical a Jesuit...
A Scottish-Canadian Blethering On About Books
An early novel by Collins (though the introduction, in the Kindle version I read, indicated that this was a later edition that Collins had revised). It's also a shortish novel by Collins standards, so once the action gets going, it zips along at a fair pace. The opening chapters, admittedly, are slo...
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