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The Woman in White (Paperback)

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This collector-quality volume includes the complete text of Wilkie Collins' classic tale of mystery and suspense in a freshly edited and newly typeset edition. With a large 7.44"x9.69" page size, this Summit Classic edition is printed on heavyweight bright white paper with a fully laminated cover featuring an original full color design. Page headers and footers and modern design and page layout exemplify the attention to detail given this volume. Widely regarded as the first mystery novel in the English language and a forerunner of modern detective fiction, "The Woman in White," published in 1860, opens with a chance encounter on a moonlit country road in England between a mysterious woman dressed in white and Walter Hartright, on his way to Limmeridge House, the country mansion where the eccentric Frederick Fairlie has arranged for Hartright to teach drawing to his nieces, the half-sisters Marian and Laura Fairlie. At the approach of a carriage the woman vanishes into the darkness and Hartright accepts a ride the rest of the way to Limmeridge House. Hartright falls in love with Laura, a wealthy heiress with an uncanny resemblance to the mysterious woman he encountered on the road. But Laura has pledged to marry Sir Percival Glyde. Hartright departs Limmeridge, the wedding takes place and the mystery deepens when Laura returns from the honeymoon, moody, morose and melancholy. The enigmatic Count Fosco, a friend of Sir Percival, casts a sinister shadow as secrets unravel and the truth is revealed, and Hartright returns in an attempt to save the sisters and expose the dark mystery surrounding Limmeridge House. William Wilkie Collins (1824 - 1889) was an English novelist, playwright, and author. Very popular during the Victorian era, Collins was a long-time close friend of Charles Dickens, and a number of Collins's works were first published in Dickens' magazines, with "The Woman in White" first appearing as a serial in Dickens' "All the Year Round" journal. For decades Collins maintained a double life, living with one family under his own name, despite the fact that the woman he identified as his wife, Caroline Graves, was actually married to someone else, and with a second family, located nearby, under the name William Dawson. Although that family also used the name Dawson, Collins was not married to that woman, Martha Rudd, either. Collins' lifestyle may have influenced his writing, in which he attacked such social issues as the legal treatment of illegitimate children and the relative helplessness of women forced by law and society to be dependent upon a husband. Trained as a lawyer and admitted to the bar, Collins never engaged in active practice, but this background influenced his work. In addition to works critical of the legal system and English law, in both "The Woman in White" and "Moonstone" (1868) Collins employed an unusual style, presenting the story as a series of "narratives" from the viewpoints of different characters. In the opening paragraphs of "The Woman in White," Collins likens this to the manner in which evidence is typically produced in legal proceedings. Following an extremely productive and successful decade in the 1860's the quality and popularity of Collins' work began to decline, quite probably influenced by the death of his literary mentor, Dickens, in 1870 and the effects of his addiction to opium and laudanum as painkillers for his gout. Another factor was likely the increasingly strident tone of the social criticism injected into his work. Collins continued to publish both fiction and nonfiction, and was working on a novel, "Blind Love," later finished by another writer, at the time of his death in 1889 following a stroke.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781481049146
ISBN-10: 1481049143
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Publication Date: December 3rd, 2012
Pages: 374
Language: English