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.
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.
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...
6) 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.
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...
If you like your mysteries with a liberal dash of prurient gossip and high-society drama, be sure to add Wilkie Collins' Jezebel's Daughter to your must-read list. This tautly suspenseful tale full of betrayal and unexpected plot twists is a worthy diversion.
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...
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...
11) 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.
12) 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.
13) 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.
14) The Dead Alive
A British attorney nearly dead from stress, exhaustion, and overwork ventures to America to spend some time recuperating at the quaint country farmhouse of a relative. Sounds like a pastoral paradise, right? Well, before long, the protagonist is thrown into the midst of a bizarre murder case. Will he be able to unravel the mystery before it's too late?
In addition to his reputation as one of the important early innovators in the genre of detective fiction, Wilkie Collins is recognized as being one of the first writers to feature female sleuths in his stories. In The Law and the Lady, Collins' heroine succeeds in cracking a tough case that has left professional investigators stumped.
16) The Evil Genius
Today, divorces are a dime a dozen. In the nineteenth century, however, the implosion of a family unit was a much rarer event, and the implications of such an occurrence often spread far beyond the small group of people who were directly involved. Settle in for this juicy domestic drama from Wilkie Collins, friend and protege of Charles Dickens.
If you can't get enough of classic British mystery novels, dive into this spine-tingling tale of mistaken identity penned by Wilkie Collins, the author of The Woman in White and The Moonstone. The tale, told partly through letters and documents, recounts the intertwined lives and fates of two distant cousins who both happen to bear the name 'Allan Armadale.'
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) No Name
No Name is a 19th-century novel by the master of sensation fiction, Wilkie Collins. A country gentleman is killed in an accident and his wife dies shortly after him. The blow is double for their daughters, who discover that they were born before their parents were married. Their sudden illegitimacy robs them of their inheritance and their accustomed place in society.
20) Poor Miss Finch
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.