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The Woman in White (Penguin Classics) by…

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

by Wilkie Collins

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8,983266333 (4.08)7 / 1116
Title:The Woman in White (Penguin Classics)
Authors:Wilkie Collins
Info:Penguin Classics (2003), Edition: Reissue, Paperback
Collections:Your library

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The Woman in White (Penguin Classics) by Wilkie Collins (1860)

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English (257)  Dutch (2)  Spanish (2)  French (1)  Italian (1)  Portuguese (1)  Swedish (1)  Catalan (1)  All (266)
Showing 1-5 of 257 (next | show all)
La scrittura di Collins è magnifica, un libro di oltre 700 pagine che ti avvince dall'inizio alla fine.
I personaggi seno caratterizzati benissimo e la storia è affascinante.
Un thriller che pur essendo stato scritto nel 1860 è equivalente, se non superiore, a tanti thriller scritti oggi.
Molto consigliato agli amanti del genere ( )
  Angela.Me | Jun 10, 2017 |
This is such a sensation novel, and that's exactly what I wanted. Lots of building of tension, lots of careful construction to extend and delay the unfolding of the story. I mean, it's overdramatic and a bit silly sometimes, but that's what it's supposed to be.

Walter Hartwright's a bore, but I was pleasantly surprised by the characterization of Anne Catherick. It's quite clear that even by the standards of the time she should not have been incarcerated in an asylum, even if she is different from the stringent Victorian definitions of 'normal' mental ability. Laura was also boring, which pairs her well with Hartwright, but Marian was generally a surprising and likeable character. Then there's Count Fosco. Who is so unreal but such a pleasure to read about because he makes you flinch away from him as much as you can't stop reading about what he's going to do next. When he uncovers Marian's journal? Oh man, I forgot myself entirely and got pretty caught up. His ending is so befitting. ( )
1 vote likecymbeline | Apr 1, 2017 |
I thought this was a decent mystery. During the time it was written, I'm sure it was top notch. I did get bored at times though. In the beginning, when Walter is first approached by the woman in white, I about keeled over. That bit was pretty creepy. ( )
  ToniFGMAMTC | Jan 19, 2017 |
I thought this was a decent mystery. During the time it was written, I'm sure it was top notch. I did get bored at times though. In the beginning, when Walter is first approached by the woman in white, I about keeled over. That bit was pretty creepy. ( )
  ToniFGMAMTC | Jan 19, 2017 |
This book was laborious. There were moments when I would have believed the damn thing was continuing to add pages to itself as I read it. The book switches POVs throughout, and that helps - I can't imagine it told from a single POV - but I still struggled to pick it back up.

I found the characters in the first epoch exasperating; Walter Hartwright was just so hopelessly romantic. And by romantic I mean a melodramatic Byron wannabe. Laura, the character the whole story revolves around, actually left very little impression on me at all, and her sister Marion, of whom I expected strong, rational sense from, let me down when the story's POV switched to hers.

The second epoch was the worst for me though. Marion becomes more the character I expected her to be and I really liked her, and Hartwright was thankfully absent, but the second epoch was all about winding up the tension; subtle, brilliantly done foreshadowing and a slow build up to the inevitable Terrible Event.

Most people relish this part of the story – that sense of dread anticipation. I am not most people. The second epoch nearly killed me: I could recognise the brilliance of the writing and story telling but at the same time, just get it over with already! I had prepared myself for Percival being a nasty piece of work; the more obsequious he became in the first epoch, the more obvious it was to me that he was going to be an ass. Fosco though, Fosco was truly the villain in this tale. The more he smiled and sided with the women, the diabolical he became. This was the part I had to make myself read.

The third and final epoch was for me the best one because now things were getting done. The climax of the story, the biggest plot twist (which I did guess before it was revealed) is over with and the third epoch is about fixing things; making the villains pay by searching out and revealing their secrets. Hartwright's time away did him good and he's not nearly the twit he was in the first epoch; he becomes a believable hero. Laura just got on my nerves; her special snowflake status from the start makes it hard to properly sympathise with her for her truly horrible experiences in epoch two.

Percival's comeuppance was all about the chase; lots of action, and a secret that when revealed didn't sound like it was worth all his efforts at concealment until the author makes us aware that at the time it was a capital crime. His final confrontation was excellent though; I didn't see that coming. But Fosco, Fosco is revealed to be the true threat, the real evil genius. If Doyle's Moriarty wasn't strongly influenced by Collins' Fosco I'll eat my socks. At the same time, I got the strong sense that Collins had the most fun in creating Fosco; I'd dearly love to know how much of himself he put into his mad creation. Fosco's character was just so different in every way to all the others that by the end it felt like the rest of the story was created merely to give Fosco reason for existing.

Both final acts failed to surprise me: too much attention was made of the scarred man for him to be background, and no way could any author from this time period walk away from a fortune and a title, even on behalf of their characters. but it was a satisfying ending nonetheless. A brilliant read that I'd recommend to anyone interested in a good story. So many of the tropes and plot devices used today came from authors like Collins and it's worth reading if only to see them done by a master. But it's definitely not a quick read. ( )
1 vote murderbydeath | Jan 18, 2017 |
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» Add other authors (182 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Wilkie Collinsprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dei, FedoraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holm, IanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sutherland, JohnEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sweet, MatthewEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Symons, JulianIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Willis, ChristineEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Woolf, GabrielNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
This is the story of what a Woman's patience can endure, and what a Man's resolution can achieve.
T. S. Eliot, in seeking to express his admiration for Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White, together with Armadale and The Moonstone, regretted that there was no aesthetic of melodrama, a genuine art form. (Introduction)
An experiment is attempted in this novel, which has not (so far as I know) been hitherto tried in fiction. (Preface 1860)
'The Woman in White' has been received with such marked favour by a very large circle of readers, that this volume scarcely stands in need of any prefatory introduction on my part. (Preface 1861)
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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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!

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)

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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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