April 2024: Wilkie Collins

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April 2024: Wilkie Collins

1AnnieMod
Mar 25, 4:12 pm

In April, we will revisit Wilkie Collins (1824–1889).

He rarely needs introduction and we had discussed him before (the last time in February 2022: https://www.librarything.com/topic/337419 ). What do you plan to read this time around?

And what is your favorite book/story/something by him and what you think everyone should read at least once in their life? If someone had never read him, what text would you recommend as the best introduction?

2Tess_W
Editado: Mar 27, 2:47 am

>1 AnnieMod: I read The Woman in White and it was a five-star read for me. I don't ascribe 5 stars often, so I thought it a great read. The only downside was that it was 1005 pages in length! I also have Collins' Moonstone on my virtual shelf, so think I will go with that one. (507 pages) My sister recommended Poor Miss Finch to me and it is on sale currently at Audible for $4.99. Hmmm...!

3SassyLassy
Mar 29, 4:27 pm

Just ordered 3 Collins titles and plan on reading at least one for this month (always depending on when they arrive):
Heart and Science
Blind Love
The Evil Genius

>1 AnnieMod: Yikes - where to start? Anyone who hasn't read Collins before would probably do well with one of the "Big Three"
The Woman in White
Armadale
The Moonstone

As to favourites, that's a difficult question, but right now I think it would be Lydia Gwilt from Armadale, one of the best in a long line of Victorian villains, or villainesses as the Victorians would say.

4SassyLassy
Abr 3, 4:14 pm

My three ordered titles arrived today, so I'm set. What is everyone else reading.?

>2 Tess_W: Poor Miss Finch is an interesting story, being one of Collins's books on the neglect of a given section of society, his "crusading" books.

5kac522
Editado: Abr 3, 4:56 pm

I've started reading a short story collection Mad Monkton and other Stories and so far I'm enjoying them.

I hope to read The Dead Secret, but I may not finish it this month, as I have a couple other chunksters planned for April.

Over the rest of this year I plan to continue reading at least 1 or 2 more by Collins, as I have No Name, The Law and the Lady and Man and Wife on my shelves.

6MissWatson
Abr 4, 10:00 am

>3 SassyLassy: I fully agree with you on Lydia Gwilt, she's my absolute favourite. I want to re-read No Name this month, but I also have my eyes on a few French books...

And I did finish My Lady's Money, which is a short mystery about a stolen banknote. The plot was a bit thin, and the romance unconvincing, but I loved the detective.

7dianelouise100
Abr 7, 12:04 pm

I’ve read The Moonstone, The Woman in White, and Armadale. Armadale was my favorite, the Woman in White a close second. I’m attending carefully to what people recommend as the Collins novel not to be missed…

8cindydavid4
Abr 7, 12:09 pm

Reading Armadale. my fav of his is still queen of hearts, which I reread every now and then. It always makes me smile

9john257hopper
Editado: Abr 12, 5:56 am

I have read Hide and Seek, his third novel. This is one of his less well known novels, but I thought was still a good example of his solid grasp of the essentials of a sensationalist mystery novel. The mystery essentially revolves around the identity of the father of Mary ("Madonna") Grice, a deaf and dumb child of around 10 years old, a man who abandoned Mary's mother, the young woman he had made pregnant. Different characters have different levels of knowledge about the truth of Mary's origins, so there is more mystery for most of the characters than there often is for the reader. I liked the interplay between the characters though and enjoyed this, albeit in a somewhat more low key way than Collins's greater works. The author's depiction of Mary as a disabled child who is somewhat more than just a passive figure was seemingly quite unusual for the time, and he apparently researched it quite well. A good read.

10kac522
Editado: Abr 16, 11:50 am

I am quite enjoying Mad Monkton and Other Stories, which is a selection of 12 mystery and ghost stories from throughout Collins' career. I am half-way through and have enjoyed each story so far. I just finished the story "The Diary of Anne Rodway" (1856), which is thought to be the first story featuring a woman who solves a crime. It was a page-turner, for sure. His writing style is clear and straight-forward, and doesn't feel as Victorian as Dickens, for example.

11Christine_Taylor
Abr 19, 1:12 am

Hello1 I picked up A Rogue's Life recently a the friend's library sale. I might be able to squeeze this short one in before the end of the month!

12kac522
Abr 19, 1:15 am

>11 Christine_Taylor: I read A Rogue's Life a few years ago and enjoyed it. It has a tongue-in-cheek quality that made it a fun read.

13kac522
Editado: Abr 19, 1:55 pm



>10 kac522: I finished Mad Monkton and Other Stories and thought it was a great collection of 12 ghost, mystery and detective stories throughout Collins' career. All of the stories (except 1, and that one was the least engaging) were written in first person, and often there is a narrative within the narrative. I think my favorites were "The Diary of Anne Rodway" (the first female "detective"), "A Terribly Strange Bed" (his first published mystery story) and "The Biter Bit" (featuring an over-confident new detective). His narrative style works perfectly in the short story format. Short stories can be hit or miss for me, but most of these were definite hits! I'm so glad my library had this older Oxford edition, as I don't know if it's still in print.

14Tess_W
Ontem, 3:00 am

Not having enough time this month (finals at the Uni--22 essays to grade!), I went cheap and read a short story. I still have Moonstone on my TBR and hope to get to it this calendar year. However, I did manage to read Who Killed Zebedee by Wilkie Collins This was a short story focused on a stabbing death and the memory of a dying former police officer as he relates the case to the priest giving him last rites. No heavy reading here, just an enjoyable 30-45 minutes.

15kac522
Ontem, 11:59 am

>14 Tess_W: "Who Killed Zebedee" was the last one in the collection I read Mad Monkton and Other Stories.