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Wilkie Collins

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Who is Wilkie Collins?


William Wilkie Collins (8 January 1824 – 23 September 1889) was an English novelist, playwright, and short story writer, best known for The Woman in White (1859), No Name (1862), Armadale (1866) and The Moonstone (1868). The last has been called the first modern English detective novel. Born to the family of painter William Collins in London, he grew up in Italy and France, learning French and Italian. He began work as a clerk for a tea merchant. After his first novel, Antonina, appeared in 1850, he met Charles Dickens, who became a close friend and mentor. Some of Collins's works appeared first in Dickens's journals All the Year Round and Household Words and they collaborated on drama and fiction. Collins published his best known works in the 1860s, achieving financial stability and an international following. However, he began suffering from gout. Taking opium for the pain developed into an addiction. In the 1870s and 1880s the quality of his writing declined along with his health. Collins was critical of the institution of marriage: he split his time between Caroline Graves, except for a two-year separation, and his common-law wife Martha Rudd, with whom he had three children... A close friend of Charles Dickens from their meeting in March 1851 until Dickens' death in June 1870, William Wilkie Collins was one of the best known, best loved, and, for a time, best paid of Victorian fiction writers. But after his death, his reputation declined as Dickens' bloomed.

Now, Collins is being given more critical and popular attention than he has received for 50 years. Most of his books are in print, and all are now in e-text. He is studied widely; new film, television, and radio versions of some of his books have been made; and all of his letters have been published. However, there is still much to be discovered about this superstar of Victorian fiction.

Born in Marylebone, London in 1824, Collins' family enrolled him at the Maida Hill Academy in 1835, but then took him to France and Italy with them between 1836 and 1838. Returning to England, Collins attended Cole's boarding school, and completed his education in 1841, after which he was apprenticed to the tea merchants Antrobus & Co. in the Strand.

In 1846, Collins became a law student at Lincoln's Inn, and was called to the bar in 1851, although he never practised. It was in 1848, a year after the death of his father, that he published his first book, 'The Memoirs of the Life of William Collins, Esq., R.A'., to good reviews.

The 1860s saw Collins' creative high-point, and it was during this decade that he achieved fame and critical acclaim, with his four major novels, 'The Woman in White' (1860), 'No Name' (1862), 'Armadale' (1866) and 'The Moonstone' (1868). 'The Moonstone', is seen by many as the first true detective novel T. S. Eliot called it "the first, the longest, and the best of modern English detective novels ..." in a genre invented by Collins and not by Poe.

Books: 989

Hometown: London, England

Fan: 1,551


Wilkie Collins Discount Books


Wilkie Collins - The Woman in White

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The Woman in White

4.5     474
Wilkie Collins - The Moonstone

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The Moonstone

4.5     251
Wilkie Collins - The Dead Secret

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The Dead Secret

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Wilkie Collins - The Haunted Hotel

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The Haunted Hotel

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Mark Twain, Thomas Paine, Leo Tolstoy, Lew Wallace, George MacDonald, H.G. Wells, Upton Sinclair, Jack London, Herman Melville & Wilkie Collins - 50 Classic Books, Vol. 2

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50 Classic Books, Vol. 2

3     53
Algernon Blackwood, Erskine Childers, Wilkie Collins, Arthur Conan Doyle, Anna Katharine Green, A.A. Milne, Mary Roberts Rinehart, Sax Rohmer & Dorothy Sayers - 50 Classic Mystery Works

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50 Classic Mystery Works

2.5     23
Wilkie Collins - Armadale

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Armadale

4.5     32
Wilkie Collins - The Law and the Lady

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The Law and the Lady

4.5     43
Wilkie Collins - The Frozen Deep

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The Frozen Deep

4.5     14
Wilkie Collins - No Name

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No Name

4.5     10
Wilkie Collins - The Fallen Leaves

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The Fallen Leaves

4.5     19
Wilkie Collins - The Evil Genius

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The Evil Genius

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Wilkie Collins - The Queen of Hearts

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The Queen of Hearts

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Wilkie Collins - The Woman in White

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The Woman in White

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Wilkie Collins - The Black Robe

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The Black Robe

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Wilkie Collins - Basil

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Basil

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Wilkie Collins - After Dark

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After Dark

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Wilkie Collins - I Say No

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I Say No

4.5     19
Wilkie Collins - Jezebel's Daughter

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Jezebel's Daughter

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Wilkie Collins - A Rogue's Life

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A Rogue's Life

3.5     9
Wilkie Collins - The Woman in White

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The Woman in White

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Wilkie Collins - A House to Let

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A House to Let

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Wilkie Collins, Edgar Wallace, Robert E. Howard, Robert W. Chambers & Anna Katherine Green - 50 Classic Thrillers

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50 Classic Thrillers

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Wilkie Collins - Blind Love

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Blind Love

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Wilkie Collins - The Dead Alive

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The Dead Alive

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Wilkie Collins - Poor Miss Finch

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Poor Miss Finch

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Wilkie Collins - Hide and Seek

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Hide and Seek

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Wilkie Collins - The New Magdalen

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The New Magdalen

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Wilkie Collins - My Lady's Money

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My Lady's Money

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Wilkie Collins - Woman in White

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Woman in White

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Wilkie Collins - Heart and Science

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Heart and Science

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Wilkie Collins - The Legacy of Cain

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The Legacy of Cain

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Wilkie Collins - A Fair Penitent

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A Fair Penitent

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Wilkie Collins - The Dead Secret

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The Dead Secret

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Wilkie Collins - Miss or Mrs?

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Miss or Mrs?

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Wilkie Collins - The Two Destinies

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The Two Destinies

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