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The Woman in White (Penguin Classics) by…
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The Woman in White (Penguin Classics) (original 1860; edition 2003)

by Wilkie Collins

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
8,575260356 (4.09)7 / 1088
Member:notmyrealname
Title:The Woman in White (Penguin Classics)
Authors:Wilkie Collins
Info:Penguin Classics (2003), Edition: Reissue, Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

Work details

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (1860)

  1. 141
    Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (starfishian)
  2. 164
    Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (Cecilturtle)
  3. 71
    The Yellow Wall-Paper {story} by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (wonderlake)
  4. 40
    Freedom and Necessity by Steven Brust (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: Both novels take place in Victorian England. They have convoluted plots, many surprises and a whiff of the occult. Although Freedom and Necessity was not a Victorian novel, it reads like one, complementing the style of Collins.
  5. 30
    Lady Audley's Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon (joririchardson, Hollerama)
  6. 31
    The Seance by John Harwood (bibliobeck, simon_carr)
  7. 53
    Fingersmith by Sarah Waters (wonderlake, teelgee)
    teelgee: Definitely see where Sarah Waters got her inspiration!
  8. 10
    Uncle Silas: A Tale of Bartram-Haugh by J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Hollerama)
  9. 10
    Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (rretzler)
  10. 32
    The Suspicions of Mr Whicher or The Murder at Road Hill House by Kate Summerscale (wonderlake)
    wonderlake: Victorian crime
  11. 11
    The House of Ulloa by Emilia Pardo Bazán (cammykitty)
    cammykitty: Spanish *gothic* from about the same time period.
  12. 12
    The Truth about the Savolta Case by Eduardo Mendoza (caflores, caflores)
  13. 48
    The Count of Monte Cristo, Vol. 2 by Alexandre Dumas (caflores)
Ghosts (31)
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English (242)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (2)  French (1)  Italian (1)  Portuguese (1)  Swedish (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (252)
Showing 1-5 of 242 (next | show all)
This took me a while to read due to the style. Not one that I am crazy about. It was written in 1859 and is considered one of the first mystery or sensational novels. The writing style is very wordy, similar to Dickens. I find that those type of books take a slow read, for me.

The plot is very interesting, giving the reader a taste of what it was like for women at that time. It takes place in England and involves the lives of a young art teacher, Walter Hartright, his student, Laura Fairlie, her sister, Marian Halcombe, and the man that the student is forced to marry, Sir Percival Glyde. Laura's unsupportive uncle is the one to force the marriage that is only beneficial to Sir Percival. Told by various members of the story, it unravels how Laura's inheritance was stolen from her along with her life making her a lost person. It also tells how she once again regains her place in society with the help of Walter and Marian.

Social rank, or the lack of for women, fraud, subtrefuge, all come into play. Written during Victorian times, it paints an unsavoury picture of what life was like for women at that time. The fact that their status and level of life was dependent on who they married. Independent women were not a good thing. ( )
  ChazziFrazz | Jun 23, 2016 |
This was an enjoyable read and would have most probably have got a better rating if it wasn't for how long winded it was. ( )
  Andrew-theQM | Jun 20, 2016 |
I am so glad a friend mentioned this book in an off-hand comment. This must be the spring of Victorian literature, as I have read more about Victorian authors and two books of British Victorian literature during the first 4 months of the year! But onto this review. This is a fascinating piece of work, one that has its flowery language elements that are part of the style, but it doesn't fall into faint Victorian flowery-ness. Instead, it deals with intrigue, with asylums and women sent there against their will, with unrequited love, with estates and drawing masters and evil masking itself as good. Granted, there are the beautiful, helpless damsels and the masculine-looking competent older sister, and the aunt who advocated for women's suffrage is greatly reduced in spirit by the time the events in the book takes place; I look at these images with an eyeroll and a sadness for what women went through then as well as before.

The story keeps one guessing: who is that woman in white our narrator saw? Why does he feel drawn to her? What will Laura do, and how will Marian solve the issues of Laura's marriage (and betrayal)? And all of the intrigue, all of the suspense and fascination and page-turning that we now expect of a thriller are in this book. Page-turning? Oh my yes. I would set myself a goal of 50 pages, and look up to find I had already passed 70 or so and it was time to get ready for work the next day. It is fascinating in its historical aspect, in its creativity, and in its drawing of abysmal creatures who walk the earth and seek only to hurt others for their own gain. ( )
  threadnsong | Jun 18, 2016 |
Walter Hartright first meets this mysterious woman while walking along a deserted road; she was a solitary, unusual woman who is dressed from head to foot in white garments. He talks with her and then she disappears. In this way the "Woman in White" begins. It is a fascinating mystery novel full of twists and turns, mistaken identities, and surprise revelations. I loved this book and the investigating that Walter Hartright does, after his first encounter with the woman in white, to uncover her identity. This book was a bit dated in parts, but overall a strange, eerie mystery tale that is well worth reading. It deserves 3 1/2 stars. ( )
  Carol420 | May 31, 2016 |
Woman in White - Wilke Collins
Audio version
4 stars
This famous nineteenth century novel is the perfect choice for a multi-cast reading, and this is a wonderful production. Almost 26 hours long, Roger Rees, Rosalyn Lander, John Lee and Judy Geeson create every character distinctly as the author intended. Originally published as a serial, each character tells their own part of the mystery as if they are giving testimony in a court of law. The sense of mystery, tension and horror increases with every change of perspective until the final dénouement.
The structure of this novel seemed amazingly modern. Had it not been for the jarring racial and social stereotypes sprinkled throughout the book, I could have believed that it was historical fiction written by a contemporary author. After many suspenseful twists and turns of the plot, Collins wraps up all of the loose ends and comes to a mostly satisfying happily ever after. It only left this twenty-first century reader with one unanswered question; how could Walter Hartright possibly prefer the vapid Laura to the courageous Marian?
( )
  msjudy | May 30, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 242 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (182 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Wilkie Collinsprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dei, FedoraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holm, IanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holm, IanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holm, IanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sutherland, JohnEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sweet, MatthewEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Symons, JulienEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Willis, ChristineEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Woolf, GabrielNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
First words
This is the story of what a Woman's patience can endure, and what a Man's resolution can achieve.
Quotations
The soft hazy twilight was just shading leaf and blossom alike into harmony with its own sober hues as we entered the room, and the sweet evening scent of the flowers met us with its fragrant welcome through the open glass doors.
There are three things that none of the young men of the present generation can do. They can't sit over their wine, they can't play at whist, and they can't pay a lady a compliment.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
When Walter Hartwright encounters a solitary, terrified, beautiful woman dressed in white on a moonlit night in London, he feels impelled to solve the mystery of her distress. The story, full of secrets, locked rooms, lost memories, and surprise revelations, features heroine Marian Halcombe and drawing-master Walter Hartright as sleuthing partners pitted against the diabolical Count Fosco and Sir Percival Glyde. This gothic psychological thriller, a mesmerizing tale of murder, intrigue, madness, and mistaken identity, has gripped the imagination of readers since its first publication in 1860. The breathtaking tension of Collins's narrative created a new literary genre of suspense fiction, which profoundly shaped the course of English popular writing.
Haiku summary
Identity theft,
money, madness, hidden crimes:
a Collins classic.
(passion4reading - thank you, wisewoman)
The Woman in White.
Count Fosco controls it all,
but Marian wins!
(rretzler)

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0141439610, Paperback)

Generally considered the first English sensation novel, The Woman in White features the remarkable heroine Marian Halcombe and her sleuthing partner, drawing master Walter Hartright, pitted against the diabolical team of Count Fosco and Sir Percival Glyde. A gripping tale of murder, intrigue, madness, and mistaken identity, Collins's psychological thriller has never been out of print in the 140 years since its publication.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:48 -0400)

(see all 10 descriptions)

When Walter Hartright has a mysterious moonlit encounter with a woman dressed all in white, his world changes forever.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 22 descriptions

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Audible.com

16 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141439610, 0141389435

Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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