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« Literary links | Main | Friday reads, New Year reads »

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Mary

He never disappoints. I'd recommend all of those, and several more. The Law and the Lady also springs to mind.

Cornflower

Great! Thank you, Mary.

Bride of the Book God

The Woman in White is my personal favourite. I own but haven't yet read Armadale which is supposed to be excellent.

Susan in TX

The Woman in White is a household favorite here, and I've read The Moonstone. I have several others waiting for me on the shelves, including The Law and the Lady mentioned above. I believe it is known for being the first full length novel with a female detective as its heroine.

Cindy

I just read The Woman In White last year when the local library were selling off classic paperbacks. Loved it and will definitely go on to read others. More gripping and an easier read than Dickens, but with similar send-ups of certain characters which always helps I find.

Lyn

I love Wilkie Collins, he's one of my favourites. The Moonstone is wonderful, I remember being so surprised when the villain was revealed that I squealed out loud! The Woman in White is also great. Armadale has a terrific female villain, Lydia Gwilt. No Name is the story of two sisters who discover that they are illegitimate. One of the things I especially love about Collins is his ability to write strong female characters. Much better than Dickens in that respect (though I also love Dickens). Collins had a very unconventional private life & I think he had a more realistic view of women.

Lory @ Emerald City Book Review

I have only read The Moonstone and The Woman in White, but it's a goal of mine to read more soon. Law and the Lady sounds intriguing!

Susan P.

I had a Wilkie Collins binge a number of years ago, and beyond his more known works (well worth reading), remember I enjoyed reading No Name and Basil. And his novel Poor Miss Finch will always be special to me--who can resist a plot about a blind girl and identical twins! The plot gets gets weirder....

michelle

Have only read No Name so far, but that is already enough to put him on my favourite authors' list. Love his wit and humour and yes, definitely more readable than Dickens!

Cornflower

"A household favourite" - that's a strong recommendation. Thanks, Susan.

Cornflower

He's sounding better and better!

Cornflower

Yes, I've been reading a little about his life - very unconventional!

Cornflower

Having read none of these wonderful-sounding books, I'd like to make a start. All the ones mentioned so far sound very good.

Cornflower

That must have been quite a binge, Susan!

Cornflower

That word 'favourite' again!

Karoline

The Woman in White is the one I keep revisiting there are some wonderful characters in it. Reading some more of Collins is on my 'list'

Damsonlily

There is also The Black Robe, which deals with inheritance, land and property and the fragile position of women when a spouse died. Its main theme is how the church in those times wanted to reclaim not only souls but material possessions and wealth, with seemingly little regard for the destitution that might follow.
Collins seems to me to have been quite an emancipated man, although I have not read much about him, I'm afraid. His style is so readable, even today and he is very good at creating tension and suspense. Thanks to the folks who mentioned some of his other books that I did not know about. I look forward to finding those.

Cornflower

He's firmly on my list now. Thanks, Karoline.

Cornflower

I echo your thanks, Damsonlily, and I'm glad I took advantage of the anniversary to post this.

Cornflower

Interesting how often The Woman in White is cropping up here.
Dilemma: to begin with that one or leave it to last?

Joan Kyler

I will never forgive myself for not buying an old set of Wilkie Collins I found in a dusty antiques barn in New Hampshire about thirty-five years ago. I was trying to curtail my book obsession and made a mistake that I rue to this day! If we could only go back in time .....

Cornflower

Oh, what a pity, Joan.

Dorothy

One strand of my reading 'plan' for 2015 is to read 12 classics. Looks like I have just found my January author. Hard to decide on which book since so many seem to be highly recommended.

Cornflower

Glad we've been helpful in that regard, Dorothy, and yes, it does seem hard to choose a book after all these strong recommendations.

Sarah

I absolutely love both the Woman in White and the Moonstone. Two of my favourite books ever. Both totally gripping and wonderful characters. Hilarious in parts too. I would start with the Woman in White. I like to re read it every few years!

Cornflower

Seems I've really been missing something all these years! Thanks, Sarah.

B R Wombat

My vote goes to Armadale. A friend and I both read it some years ago and thought it would make a wonderful film if Johnny Depp took the lead . . . I too had a real binge of Collins at that time and love him. And did you know that he seems to be the favourite author of Paul Lewis of Moneybox fame?

Cornflower

I want to read all these books now; (didn't know about Paul Lewis).

Isobel

Have you come across The Happy Reader, a "bookish quarterly" published by Penguin in conjunction with others? Issue no.1 from Winter 2014 focuses on The Woman in White with some delightfully tangential essays including a recipe for the bon-bons de chocolat a la vanille as offered by Count Fosco. (This issue also includes a "voluminous" interview with Dan Stevens should you be interested....)

rj

Love Wilkie Collins' books. No Name is a favorite, as is The Moonstone. They're paced differently, so you don't feel like you're reading the "same" book.

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