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Wilkie Collins

The Woman in White

Wilkie Collins - Author
Matthew Sweet - Editor/introduction
Matthew Sweet - Notes by
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Book: Paperback | 129 x 198mm | 720 pages | ISBN 9780141439617 | 27 Feb 2003 | Penguin Classics
The Woman in White

‘In one moment, every drop of blood in my body was brought to a stop … There, as if it had that moment sprung out of the earth … stood the figure of a solitary Woman, dressed from head to foot in white’

The Woman in White famously opens with Walter Hartright’s eerie encounter on a moonlit London road. Engaged as a drawing master to the beautiful Laura Fairlie, Walter is drawn into the sinister intrigues of Sir Percival Glyde and his ‘charming’ friend Count Fosco, who has a taste for white mice, vanilla bonbons and poison. Pursuing questions of identity and insanity along the paths and corridors of English country houses and the madhouse, The Woman in White is the first and most influential of the Victorian genre that combined Gothic horror with psychological realism.

Matthew Sweet’s introduction explores the phenomenon of Victorian ‘sensation’ fiction, and discusses Collins’s biographical and societal influences. Included in this edition are appendices on theatrical adaptations of the novel and with its serialization history.

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