At a party celebrating her eighteenth birthday, Rachel Verinder wears the stunning yellow diamond she unexpectedly inherited from her uncle, unaware that it was plundered from a sacred Indian shrine fifty years earlier. When the jewel goes missing later that night, suspicions are raised and accusations fly in all directions. Sifting through divergent accounts of what happened, the indomitable Sergeant Cuff must find the Moonstone and the truth about its mysterious disappearance.
Recognised as the very first detective novel in the English language, The Moonstone (1868) earned Wilkie Collins the reputation of the godfather of the classic English detective story, with Dorothy L. Sayers declaring, ‘Nothing human is perfection, but The Moonstone comes about as near perfection as anything of the kind ever can.’ For 150 years its intricate locked-room puzzle and multiple narrators have influenced generations of mystery authors.
This Detective Club classic reproduces Collins’ slightly abridged version of the novel, originally designed to make the long nineteenth-century text more accessible. It is introduced by the iconic crime writing duo G.D.H. and M. Cole, who analyse the popularity of Wilkie Collins’ groundbreaking sensation novel.
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Guarded by three Brahmin priests, the Moonstone is a religious relic, the centerpiece in a sacred statue of the Hindu god of the moon. It is also a giant yellow diamond of enormous value, and its temptation is irresistible to the corrupt John Herncastle, a colonel in the British Army in India. After murdering the three guardian priests and bringing the diamond back to England with him, Herncastle bequeaths it to his niece, Rachel, knowing full well that danger will follow. True to its enigmatic nature, the Moonstone disappears from Rachel’s room on the night of her eighteenth birthday, igniting a mystery so intricate and thrilling it has set the standard for every crime novel of the past one hundred fifty years.
Widely recognized, alongside the stories of Edgar Allan Poe, as establishing many of the most enduring conventions of detective fiction, The Moonstone is Wilkie Collins’s masterwork and one of the greatest novels of the nineteenth century.
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The night before he leaves London for a temporary engagement in the North of England, drawing instructor Walter Hartright walks home on an empty, moonlit road. Suddenly a hand reaches out of the darkness and touches him on the shoulder. Terrified, he turns to find a woman, dressed all in white, who begs him for help in getting to a friend’s place in the city. By a strange coincidence, the woman knows Limmeridge House, the country estate to which Walter is traveling in the morning. Stranger still, she refuses to reveal anything else about herself, including her name. Only after he sees her safely into a cab does Walter learn the truth—the woman in white has just escaped from an insane asylum.
In Limmeridge, Walter falls in love with one of his students, the beautiful and virtuous Laura Fairlie. An orphan in the care of her invalid uncle, Laura is engaged to Sir Percival Glyde, a baronet. She follows through with the marriage despite her feelings for Walter, but soon realizes her mistake. Sir Percival will stop at nothing to gain complete control of Laura’s inheritance, and his diabolical plot hinges on her astonishing resemblance to the mysterious woman in white. It is up to Walter and Marian, Laura’s devoted half-sister, to rescue fair Laura from a fate worse than death.
With its shocking twists and spine-chilling suspense, The Woman in White charted a whole new course for popular fiction. Devilishly entertaining and deadly serious in its indictment of Victorian marriage laws that impoverished women, it is widely recognized as one the nineteenth century’s finest novels.
This ebook features a new introduction by Otto Penzler and has been professionally proofread to ensure accuracy and readability on all devices.
* Beautifully illustrated with images relating to Collins’ life and works
* Concise introductions to the novels and other texts
* ALL 24 novels, with individual contents tables
* Includes rare novels often missed out of collections
* Images of how the books were first published, giving your eReader a taste of the original Victorian texts
* Excellent formatting of the texts
* Special chronological and alphabetical contents tables for the short stories
* Rare tales from periodicals and magazines, appearing here for the first time in digital publishing
* Easily locate the short stories you want to read
* Includes Collins’ rare plays – available in no other collection
* Includes Collins’ non-fiction – spend hours exploring the author’s rare magazine essays and articles
* Special biographical section, with essays and biographical pieces evaluating Collins’ literary and private life
* Scholarly ordering of texts into chronological order and literary genres
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HIDE AND SEEK
A ROGUE’S LIFE
THE DEAD SECRET
THE WOMAN IN WHITE
MAN AND WIFE
POOR MISS FINCH
THE NEW MAGDALEN
THE LAW AND THE LADY
THE TWO DESTINIES
THE HAUNTED HOTEL
THE FALLEN LEAVES
THE BLACK ROBE
HEART AND SCIENCE
“I SAY NO”
THE EVIL GENIUS
THE GUILTY RIVER
THE LEGACY OF CAIN
The Short Story Collections
THE QUEEN OF HEARTS
MISS OR MRS.? AND OTHER STORIES IN OUTLINE
THE FROZEN DEEP AND OTHER STORIES
MISCELLANEOUS SHORT STORIES
The Short Stories
LIST OF SHORT STORIES IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER
LIST OF SHORT STORIES IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER
THE FROZEN DEEP
BLACK AND WHITE
THE WOMAN IN WHITE
THE NEW MAGDALEN
MEMOIRS OF THE LIFE OF WILLIAM COLLINS ESQ, RA
RAMBLES BEYOND RAILWAYS
MISCELLANEOUS ESSAYS AND ARTICLES
WILKIE COLLINS’ CHARMS by Olive Logan
MEN OF MARK: W. WILKIE COLLINS by Edmund Yates
WILKIE COLLINS by William Teignmouth Shore
Extracts from ‘MEMORIES OF HALF A CENTURY’ by Rudolph Chambers Lehmann
Extracts from ‘LIFE OF CHARLES DICKENS’ by John Forster
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“Any woman who is sure of her own wits, is a match, at any time, for a man who is not sure of his own temper.” ― Wilkie Collins, The Woman in White
Combining psychological drama and Victorian Gothic horror, The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins is as engrossing read.
When Valeria Brinton marries Eustace Woodville, both families object strongly. Before long, Valeria realizes that they may have been right to voice their concerns. Eustace, it seems, is living under an assumed name. This alone would be enough to rouse his new bride’s suspicions, but worse still, she discovers that he stood trial for the murder of his 1st wife! Although Eustace was not found guilty, the court was unable to find sufficient evidence to exonerate him. Determined to clear her husband’s name and prove—to herself and everyone else—that he is innocent, Valeria takes the sleuthing into her own hands.
Widely considered to be the 1st story featuring a female detective, The Law and the Lady is an intricate and classic tale.
This ebook features a new introduction from Otto Penzler and has been professionally proofread to ensure accuracy and readability on all devices.