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3.5 

The Woman in White

By Wilkie Collins
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins digital book - Fable

Publisher Description

The Woman in White tells the story of Walter Hartright, a young and impoverished drawing teacher who falls in love with his aristocratic pupil, Laura Fairlie. He cannot hope to marry her, however, and she is married off against her will to a baronet, Sir Percival Glyde, who is seeking her fortune. The terms of her marriage settlement prevent Glyde accessing her money while she lives, so together with his deceptively charming and cunning friend, Count Fosco, they hatch an unscrupulous deception to do so nonetheless. In an early 19th Century version of “identity theft,” they contrive to fake Laura’s death and confine her to a mental asylum. Their plot is eventually uncovered and exposed by Hartright with the help of Laura’s resourceful half-sister, Marian Halcombe.

The Woman in White was the most popular of Wilkie Collins’ novels in the genre then known as “sensation fiction.” It has never been out of print and is frequently included in lists of the best novels of all time. Published initially in serial form in 1859–60, it achieved an early and remarkable following, probably because of the strength of its characters, in particular the smooth and charming but utterly wicked villain Count Fosco, and the intelligent and steadfast Marian Halcombe opposed to him.

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409 Reviews

3.5
Thinking Face
Characters change and growMulti-layered charactersBeautifully writtenOriginal writingBeautiful setting
Beaming Face with Smiling Eyes“Quickly became one of my favorite books! It’s a classic for a reason! Very twisty and unpredictable!! The language was a bit challenging for me to understand at times but I enjoyed putting a demand on my brain and asked others in my Book Club who had a better feel for language if I really got stuck 😉”
Characters change and growDiverse charactersMulti-layered charactersBeautifully writtenOriginal writingTwistyUnpredictableRealistic settingAbuseAnimal abuse
Surprised Face with Open Mouth“I loved this book! I understand now why it is considered a classic. The writing is so descriptive, the diary elements, the mystery, the unpredictability, the gothic vibes….. aaaaah this book is everything!! Bravooooo bravoooooo 5 stars! ⭐️ 🌟 ⭐️ ⭐️ 🌟”
Characters change and growDiverse charactersBeautifully writtenSuspensefulTwisty

About Wilkie Collins

William Wilkie Collins (8 January 1824 – 23 September 1889) was an English novelist and playwright known especially for The Woman in White (1859), and for The Moonstone (1868), which has been proposed as the first modern English detective novel. Born to the London painter William Collins and his wife, he moved with them to Italy when he was twelve, living there and in France for two years and learning Italian and French. He worked initially as a tea merchant. After Antonina, his first novel, appeared in 1850, Collins met Charles Dickens, who became a friend and mentor. Some of his work appeared in Dickens's journals Household Words and All the Year Round. They also collaborated on drama and fiction. Collins gained financial stability and an international following by the 1860s, but became addicted to the opium he took for his gout, so that his health and writing quality declined in the 1870s and 1880s. Collins criticized the institution of marriage: he split his time between widow Caroline Graves – living with her for most of his life, treating her daughter as his – and the younger Martha Rudd, by whom he had three children.

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