Author photo. Portrait of Wilkie Collins (1850). Paiting in the National Portrait Gallery, London.

Portrait of Wilkie Collins (1850). Paiting in the National Portrait Gallery, London.

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Born in London in 1824, Collins grew up surrounded by art and artists. Today, people tend to know him mostly for his two most famous novels, The Woman in White (an originator of the Victorian sensation novel), or The Moonstone, often credited as the prototype of the modern detective story. But in his own day, his work was wildly popular, rivalling that of his friend Charles Dickens. Collins never married, but from 1858 lived on and off with two women, Caroline Graves and Martha Rudd, with whom he had 3 children.
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