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Encyclopedia > Wilkie Collins
Wilkie Collins
Wilkie Collins

William Wilkie Collins (8 January 182423 September 1889) was an English novelist, playwright, and writer of short stories. He was hugely popular in his time, and wrote 27 novels, more than 50 short stories, at least 15 plays, and over 100 pieces of non-fiction work. His best-known works are The Woman in White, The Moonstone, Armadale and No Name. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (550x795, 54 KB) Portrait of British writer Wilkie Collins (1824-1889) taken between 1880 and 1889. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (550x795, 54 KB) Portrait of British writer Wilkie Collins (1824-1889) taken between 1880 and 1889. ... January 8 is the 8th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1824 was a leap year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... September 23 is the 266th day of the year (267th in leap years). ... Year 1889 (MDCCCLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... This article is about the English as an ethnic group and nation. ... A novel is an extended work of written, narrative, prose fiction, usually in story form; the writer of a novel is a novelist. ... A playwright, also known as a dramatist, is a person who writes dramatic literature or drama. ... The Woman in White is an epistolary novel written by Wilkie Collins and published in 1859. ... The Moonstone (1868) by Wilkie Collins is a 19th-century epistolary novel, generally considered the first detective novel in the English language. ... Armadale (1866) by Wilkie Collins is a 19th-century semi epistolary novel. ... No Name (1862) by Wilkie Collins is a 19th-century novel revolving upon the issue of illegitimacy. ...

Contents

Life

Collins was born in London, the son of a well-known landscape artist, William Collins. Named after his father, he swiftly became known by his second name (which honoured his godfather, David Wilkie). At 17 he left school and was apprenticed to a firm of tea merchants, but after five unhappy years, during which he wrote his first novel, Iolani, he entered Lincoln's Inn to study law. (Iolani remained unpublished for over 150 years until 1999.) After his father's death in 1847, Collins produced his first published book, Memoirs of the Life of William Collins, Esq., R.A. (1848), and also considered a career in painting, exhibiting a picture at the Royal Academy summer exhibition in 1849, but it was with the publication of his first published novel Antonina in 1850 that his career as a writer began in earnest. This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... William Collins (1788-1847) was a British landscape and genre painter. ... David Wilkie may refer to: Sir David Wilkie (artist) David Wilkie (taxicab driver), killed during the UK miners strike (1984-1985) David Wilkie (swimmer) Category: ... Part of Lincolns Inn drawn by Thomas Shepherd c. ... 1847 was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... Year 1848 (MDCCCXLVIII) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian Calendar (or a leap year starting on Monday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... This article refers to an art institution in London. ... Royal Academy during the 2004 summer exhibition The Summer Exhibition is an art exhibition held annually by the Royal Academy in Burlington House, Piccadilly in central London. ... 1849 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... For the game, see: 1850 (board game) 1850 (MDCCCL) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Sunday [1] of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ...


An instrumental event in Collins' career occurred in 1851 when he was introduced to Charles Dickens by a mutual friend, Augustus Egg. They became lifelong friends and collaborators; several of Collins' novels were serialised in Dickens' weekly publication All the Year Round, and Dickens later edited and published them himself. 1851 (MDCCCLI) was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Friday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Charles John Huffam Dickens FRSA (7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870), pen-name Boz, was the foremost English novelist of the Victorian era, as well as a vigorous social campaigner. ... Augustus Egg, Travelling Companions, painted in 1862 Augustus Leopold Egg (May 21, 1816 - March 26, 1863) was a Victorian artist best known for his modern triptych Past and Present (1858), which depicts the break up of a middle-class Victorian family. ... All the Year Round was a weekly magazine edited by Charles Dickens which was published between 1859 and 1859. ...


Collins suffered from a form of arthritis known as 'rheumatic gout' and became severely addicted to the opium that he took (in the form of laudanum) to relieve the pain. As a result he experienced paranoid delusions, the most notable being his conviction that he was constantly accompanied by a doppelganger he dubbed 'Ghost Wilkie'. His novel The Moonstone prominently features the effects of opium and opium addiction. While he was writing it, Collins' consumption of laudanum was such that he later claimed to have no memory of writing large parts of the novel. Arthritis (from Greek arthro-, joint + -itis, inflammation; plural: arthritides) is a group of conditions where there is damage caused to the joints of the body. ... This article does not adequately cite its references. ... For other uses, see Laudanum (disambiguation). ... The syndrome of subjective doubles is a rare delusional misidentification syndrome in which someone suffers from the delusion that he has a double or doppelgänger with the same appearance, usually with different character traits and leading a life of his own. ... The Moonstone (1868) by Wilkie Collins is a 19th-century epistolary novel, generally considered the first detective novel in the English language. ...


Collins never married, but lived, on and off from 1858, with a widow, Mrs. Caroline Graves, and her daughter. He also fathered three children by another woman, Martha Rudd, whom he met after Mrs. Graves left him in 1868. Mrs. Graves returned to Collins after two years, and he continued both relationships until his death in 1889. 1858 (MDCCCLVIII) is a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Sunday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Media:Example. ...


He is buried in Kensal Green Cemetery, West London. His grave notes him as the author of The Woman in White. Grave Number 31754, Square 141, Row 1. Kensal Green Cemetery Kensal Green Cemetery, located in Kensal Green, London, England, was incorporated in 1832, and is the oldest of the Magnificent Seven cemeteries still in operation. ... The Woman in White is an epistolary novel written by Wilkie Collins and published in 1859. ...


Works

His works were classified at the time as 'sensation novels', a genre seen nowadays as the precursor to detective fiction and suspense fiction. He also wrote penetratingly on the plight of women and on the social and domestic issues of his time. Like many writers of his time, he published most of his novels as serials in magazines such as Dickens's All the Year Round, and was known as a master of the form, creating just the right degree of suspense to keep his audience reading from week to week. (Sales of All The Year Round actually increased when The Woman in White succeeded A Tale of Two Cities.) The sensation novel was a literary genre of fiction popular in Great Britain in the 1860s and 1870s. ... Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes Detective fiction is a branch of crime fiction that centers upon the investigation of a crime, usually murder, by a detective, either professional or amateur. ... It has been suggested that this article be split into multiple articles accessible from a disambiguation page. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... All the Year Round was a weekly magazine edited by Charles Dickens which was published between 1859 and 1859. ... A Tale of Two Cities (1859) is a historical novel by Charles Dickens. ...


He enjoyed ten years of great success following publication of The Woman in White in 1859. His next novel, No Name combined social commentary - the absurdity of the law as it applied to children of unmarried parents - with a densely-plotted revenge thriller. Armadale, (the first and only of Collins' major novels of the 1860s to be serialised in a magazine other than Dickens' "All The Year Round") provoked strong criticism, generally centred around its transgressive villainess Lydia Gwilt; and provoked in part by Collins' typically confrontational prefaratory material. The novel was simultanously a financial coup for its author and a comparative commercial failure: the sum paid by the Cornhill magazine for the serialisation rights was exceptional, eclipsing the prices paid for the vast majority of similar novels by a substantial margin, yet the novel itself failed to recoup its publishers' investment. The Moonstone, published in 1868, and the last novel of what is generally regarded as the most successful decade of its authors' career was, despite a somewhat cool reception from both Dickens and the critics, a significant return to form and reestablished the market value of an author whose success in the competitive Victorian literary marketplace had been gradually waning in the wake of his first "masterpiece." Viewed by many to represent the advent of the Detective Story within the tradition of the English Novel, it remains one of Collins' most critically acclaimed productions. No Name (1862) by Wilkie Collins is a 19th-century novel revolving upon the issue of illegitimacy. ... Armadale (1866) by Wilkie Collins is a 19th-century semi epistolary novel. ... The Moonstone (1868) by Wilkie Collins is a 19th-century epistolary novel, generally considered the first detective novel in the English language. ...


However, various factors (most often cited are the loss of Dickens' literary mentoring after that author's death in 1870; Collins' increased dependence upon laudanum; and a somewhat ill-advised penchant for utilising his fiction to rail against social issues) appear to have led to a decline in the two decades following the success of his sensation novels of the 1860s and prior to his death in 1889; and Collins' novels and novellas of the '70s and '80s, whilst by no means entirely devoid of merit or literary interest, are generally regarded as inferior to his previous productions and receive comparatively little critical attention today.


The Woman in White and The Moonstone share an unusual narrative structure, somewhat resembling an epistolary novel, in which different portions of the book have different narrators, each with a distinctive narrative voice. The Moonstone, being the most popular of Collin's novels, is known as a precursor for detective fiction such as Sherlock Holmes. Titlepage of Aphra Behns Love-Letters (1684) An epistolary novel is a novel written as a series of documents. ...


After The Moonstone, Collins's novels contained fewer thriller elements and more social commentary. The subject matter continued to be "sensational", but his popularity declined. Swinburne commented: "What brought good Wilkie's genius nigh perdition? Some demon whispered - 'Wilkie! have a mission.'" Algernon Swinburne, detail of his portrait by Rossetti Algernon Charles Swinburne (April 5, 1837 – April 10, 1909) was a Victorian era English poet. ...


Bibliography

  • Memoirs of the Life of William Collins, Esq., R.A. (1848)
  • Antonina (1850)
  • Rambles Beyond Railways (1851)
  • Basil (1852)
  • Mr Wray's Cash Box (1852)
  • Hide and Seek (1854)
  • The Ostler (1855)
  • After the Dark (1856)
  • The Dead Secret (1857)
  • The Frozen Deep (1857), a play co-written with Charles Dickens
  • A House to Let (1858), a short story co-written with Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell and Adelaide Anne Procter
  • The Queen of Hearts (1859)
  • The Woman in White (1860)
  • No Name (1862)
  • My Miscellanies (1863)
  • Armadale (1866)
  • No Thoroughfare (1867), a story and play co-written with Charles Dickens
  • The Moonstone (1868)
  • Man and Wife (1870)
  • Poor Miss Finch (1872)
  • Miss or Mrs? (1873)
  • The New Magdalen (1873)
  • The Law and the Lady (1875)
  • The Two Destinies (1876)
  • The Haunted Hotel (1878)
  • The Fallen Leaves (1879)
  • A Rogue's Life (1879)
  • My Lady's Money (1879)
  • Jezebel's Daughter (1880)
  • The Black Robe (1881)
  • Heart and Science (1883)
  • I Say No (1884)
  • The Ghost's Touch and Other Stories (1885)
  • The Evil Genius (1886)
  • The Guilty River (1886)
  • Little Novels (1887)
  • The Legacy of Cain (1889)
  • Blind Love (1889 - unfinished. Completed by Walter Besant)
  • Iolani, or Tahiti as it was. A Romance (1999)

The Frozen Deep was a play, originally staged as an amateur theatrical, written by Wilkie Collins along with the substantial guidance of Charles Dickens. ... The four authors (clockwise from top left): Dickens, Collins, Procter and Gaskell. ... The Woman in White is an epistolary novel written by Wilkie Collins and published in 1859. ... No Name (1862) by Wilkie Collins is a 19th-century novel revolving upon the issue of illegitimacy. ... Armadale (1866) by Wilkie Collins is a 19th-century semi epistolary novel. ... No Thoroughfare is a stage play and novel by Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins, both released in December 1867. ... The Moonstone (1868) by Wilkie Collins is a 19th-century epistolary novel, generally considered the first detective novel in the English language. ... The Law and the Lady, published in 1875, by Wilkie Collins, although still in print, is largely forgotten now. ... Blind Love was an unfinished novel by Wilkie Collins, which he left behind on his death in 1890. ... Sir Walter Besant (1836 - 1901) was a novelist and historian from London. ...

References

  • Bleiler, Everett (1948). The Checklist of Fantastic Literature. Chicago: Shasta Publishers, 81. 

Everett Franklin Bleiler (born 1920) is an editor and bibliographer of science fiction and Fantasy. ...

External links

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Wilkie Collins

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Encyclopedia4U - Wilkie Collins - Encyclopedia Article (342 words)
Wilkie Collins (January 8, 1824 - September 23, 1889) was an English novelist, credited with writing the first mystery.
Wilkie was immensely popular in his time, and wrote 25 novels and over 50 short stories.
Wilkie Collins died in London in 1889 and was buried there in the Kensal Green Cemetery.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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