The Moonstone is a 19th-century novel by the master of sensation fiction, Wilkie Collins. It is considered, with The Woman in White, to be his best work, and is also commonly seen as the first English detective novel. Many of the standard ground rules for detective fiction can be found in this work, as well as examples of Collins' forward-thinking approach to the treatment of Indians and servants.
The power that I have dreamed of all my life is mine at last!' How far is a mother prepared to go to secure her daughter's future? Madame Fontaine, widow of an eminent chemist, has both the determination and the cunning to bring young Minna's marriage plans to fruition, with dangerous consequences for anyone who dares to stand in her way. But has she met her match in Jack Straw, one-time inmate of Bedlam lunatic asylum? It will take a visit to...
4) No Name
5) Miss or Mrs?
Wilkie Collins was an enormously popular writer in his day, and often garnered comparisons to his contemporary rival, Charles Dickens. Like Dickens, Collins wrote a number of serialized Christmas-themed stories for popular magazines. In Miss or Mrs?, a secret marriage results in a series of unintended consequences.
In The Black Robe, a strikingly original novel from master storyteller Wilkie Collins, what starts out as a night of fun and games turns tragic when a dispute over a card game leads to murder. Desperate to atone for his sin, the perpetrator tries to offer assistance to the victim's family, but instead finds himself enmeshed all the deeper in a web of falsehoods and intrigue. Will he ever be able to extricate himself and move on with his...
What if you had been deprived of sight for your entire life—only to have your vision restored just as you found yourself falling in love for the first time? That's the seemingly miraculous fate that befalls the Miss Finch of the title in this classic novel from abidingly popular nineteenth-century author Wilkie Collins.
8) I Say No
In the mood for a tightly plotted whodunit? Check out I Say No from Wilkie Collins, an author recognized as one of the most important figures in the development of the detective fiction genre. A unlikely heroine takes on the role of detective and uncovers the truth about her family's troubled history.
This classic novel from British author Wilkie Collins is a domestic drama packed with enough twists and turns to satisfy even the most jaded reader. After falling head-over-heels in love with a mysterious young woman, Basil decides he must have her at all costs, despite the fact that the decision may bring ruin to his high-society family. After courting the girl and convincing her father to agree to a marriage, things begin to veer off-track. Is...
Is it morally permissible to conduct often-painful experiments on innocent animals? That contentious debate is still going on today, but it has its roots in the Victorian era, when the issue of 'vivisection' had only recently made its way into the public discourse. In Heart and Science, self-professed animal lover Wilkie Collins uses fiction to mount a compelling attack on animal experimentation. This thought-provoking and entertaining novel...
Victorian-era novelist Wilkie Collins was one of the most popular and successful writers of his day, ranked by some as equal in influence and acclaim to his friend and mentor Charles Dickens. Like Dickens, Collins' novels take a hard look at the social problems of the period in the context of an engaging, often addictively paced, narrative. Fallen Leaves recounts the lives of four women, each of whom has chosen a distinct path but whose...
12) The Frozen Deep
Written in an intense creative collaboration with Charles Dickens, who was one of the author's dearest friends, The Frozen Deep is a dramatic interpretation of the Franklin expedition, an ill-fated journey in search of the Northwest Passage that was undertaken by a large group of explorers and researchers. The ultimate fate of the men on the voyage was never ascertained, and this gripping play represents one imagined outcome to the tragic...
13) A Rogue's Life
Charming and intelligent but somewhat lacking in the purpose and dedication departments, protagonist Frank Softly just can't seem to find a profession that suits him, much to the chagrin of his family. Still, his journey to find himself is full of entertaining adventures and misadventures. Modern-day readers will find a lot to love in Wilkie Collins' A Rogue's Life.
14) Hide and Seek
This domestic drama from beloved author Wilkie Collins focuses on the abiding power of family, whether by birth or by chance. A profoundly disabled girl is adopted by a loving family, but her true origins are shrouded in mystery. When a few intrepid friends begin trying to find out more about her history, a wholly unexpected chain of events is set into motion.
15) Blind Love
Love is said to be the salve that soothes a damaged soul. But in some cases, an all-consuming intimacy can have the opposite effect, inflaming murderous jealousies and compelling people to act in the most nefarious ways. The relationship at the center of Wilkie Collins' classic novel Blind Love started out innocently enough, but before long, Iris Henley and Lord Harry Norland find themselves doomed by their passion.
Do you believe in fate? Is true love powerful enough to overcome even the most adverse of circumstances? These thought-provoking questions form the thematic core of the novel The Two Destinies by master storyteller Wilkie Collins. Two star-crossed lovers fall head-over-heels for one another, but soon fall prey to a seemingly insurmountable series of mishaps and misadventures. Will they wind up together eventually?
Are our morals imbued in us through teaching and example, or do we come into this world with our personality and values written in our genes? The Legacy of Cain is novelist Wilkie Collins' engrossing take on the age-old nature-or-nurture question. When a woman sentenced to death begs a man of the cloth to care for her soon-to-be-orphaned child, the situation presents itself as a profound conundrum: is the offspring inevitably doomed to repeat...
18) The Guilty River
During his lifetime, British fiction writer Wilkie Collins came to rival Charles Dickens in popularity and critical acclaim. Like Dickens, Collins often gravitated toward characters who overcame significant obstacles to learn important life lessons. The novella The Guilty River continues in this vein, recounting an against-all-odds love affair that blossoms between a couple that each hail from a different social caste.
19) A Fair Penitent
Delve into the seamy underside of eighteenth-century Paris in this gripping short story from beloved British author Wilkie Collins. The fair penitent of the title is a renowned stage actress who decides to give up her life of cultural refinement and cushy creature comforts to seek out a more spiritually fulfilling path. Will she find a way to make things right and repent?
An early innovator in the genre of mystery and detective fiction, Wilkie Collins gained an enormous readership during his lifetime. Though many readers became hooked on his work due to his meticulous plotting and mastery with suspense, critics say that Collins' popularity endured as a result of his incisive social insight and commentary. The Queen of Hearts is a masterpiece of Victorian-era detective fiction and a rewarding read for fans...