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Armadale (Penguin Classics) by Wilkie…

Armadale (Penguin Classics) (original 1866; edition 1995)

by Wilkie Collins (Author), John Sutherland (Editor)

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1,0112412,741 (3.99)127
Title:Armadale (Penguin Classics)
Authors:Wilkie Collins (Author)
Other authors:John Sutherland (Editor)
Info:Penguin Classics (1995), Edition: New Ed, 752 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Armadale by Wilkie Collins (1866)

  1. 20
    Diana Tempest by Mary Cholmondeley (nessreader)
    nessreader: High victorian melodramatic pageturners with all-too-clearly signposted villains and quite rigid gender roles, with inheritance wars driving the plot and the characters anxious about what the neighbours will think.
  2. 10
    Lady Audley's Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon (KoobieKitten)
  3. 00
    The Virgin of the Seven Daggers by Vernon Lee (KoobieKitten)

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Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
Extremely convoluted plot. Two men with the same name who become friends despite the fact that one of their fathers murdered the other; an amoral femme fatale who entrances literally every man she comes across; villainous villains and a gullible hero.

Very enjoyable, although very long and requiring lots of suspension of disbelief. I couldn't quite work out why Midwinter lost interest in Lydia only two weeks after marrying her and I found the narrative of the Dream so boring that I skipped over it, which was perhaps not the best thing to have done.

Definitely "Victorian" in its emotions and attitudes and interesting in its depiction of Victorian laws surrounding marriage.

Fun. ( )
1 vote pgchuis | Jul 9, 2017 |
I love Collins character development,writing style and storylines. That said,this book had sections that were so long and dragged out that it made the climatic parts anti-climatic...for me.You cannot skim thru parts of Collins books,you will lose important details for the story. I liked the story,I just felt this could have been a bit shorter in length.Not as good as The Woman in White,but a good mystery. ( )
  LauGal | Aug 16, 2016 |
The first Wilkie Collins novel I read was The Moonstone, and I loved it so much that I devoured it practically in one sitting, while at home nursing a cold. Then I picked up The Woman in White, and, to my surprise, found it almost unbearably slow and tedious. Suddenly uncertain about a writer I'd thought I loved, I figured I'd let Armadale be my tie-breaker.... and I'm very pleased to report that the results were entirely in Mr. Collins' favor.

The plot of this one is almost impossible to describe in any concise or reasonable-sounding way. Suffice it to say that it involves secrets, murders, assumed identities, an inheritance, a scheming gold digger, a prophetic dream, and no fewer than four different people named "Allan Armadale." Among other things.

It's all pretty entertaining, with moments of humor and moments of tragedy and moments of suspense. One thing I find interesting about it is how, like most novels of this sort, it's full of a million ridiculously implausible coincidences, but it actually manages to turn that from a bug into a feature, creating an ominous sense of inescapable fate closing in. The characters, for the most part, are well-rendered and interesting -- especially the main villain, a manipulative, spiteful woman whom one might almost expect to be cartoony, but who instead feels extremely human, even sympathetic.

All of which isn't to say that it's flawless. It is somewhat slow-paced and rambly, although, really, if you sit down to a 650-page Victorian novel expecting something zippy, you're probably asking for disappointment. And there were a few places where I found myself kind of wanting to grab some of the characters and shake them until they talked to each other, or where they seemed not to react quite the way I would expect based on things that had been previously established, leading me to wonder if maybe Collins' convoluted plot might just be getting away with him a bit.

But mostly it was really enjoyable. Which leaves me wondering just what, exactly, my problem was with The Woman in White, since it's basically the same type of story as Armadale and The Moonstone, and did feature some good characters. Maybe I was just not in the right mood, or went into it with my expectations set too high. In any case, I'm glad I didn't let it put me off. ( )
1 vote bragan | Mar 14, 2015 |
Armadale strikes me as the kind of book that you have to get interested in during the first fifty to a hundred pages to fully enjoy all the way through. For me, I did not find much interest in it. There was nothing overall wrong with it; I just found it boring. ( )
  Tarklovishki | Oct 31, 2014 |
Probably deserves a better rating but my mom had heart surgery whilst I was reading this & it couldn't hold my attention. ( )
  leslie.98 | Aug 30, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Wilkie Collinsprimary authorall editionscalculated
Peters, CatherineEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sutherland, JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To John Foster
In Acknowledgement of the service which he has rendered to the cause of literature by his Life of Goldsmith, and in affectionate remembrance of a friendship which is associated with some of the happiest years of my life.
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It was the opening of the season of eighteen hundred and thirty-two, at the Baths of WILDBAD.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140434119, Paperback)

An innovative novel featuring an astonishingly wicked female villain, Wilkie Collins' "Armadale" was regarded by T.S. Eliot as 'the best of [his] romances'. This "Penguin Classics" edition is edited with an introduction and notes by John Sutherland. When the elderly Allan Armadale makes a terrible confession on his death-bed, he has little idea of the repercussions to come, for the secret he reveals involves the mysterious Lydia Gwilt: flame-haired temptress, bigamist, laudanum addict and husband-poisoner. Her malicious intrigues fuel the plot of this gripping melodrama: a tale of confused identities, inherited curses, romantic rivalries, espionage, money - and murder. The character of Lydia Gwilt horrified contemporary critics, with one reviewer describing her as 'One of the most hardened female villains whose devices and desires have ever blackened fiction'. She remains among the most enigmatic and fascinating women in nineteenth-century literature and the dark heart of this most sensational of Victorian 'sensation novels'. John Sutherland's introduction illustrated how Wilkie Collins drew on scandalous newspaper headlines and on new technology particularly the penny post and the telegraph - to lend extra pace and veracity to his tale. This edition also contains notes, further reading and an appendix on stage dramatisations of "Armadale". Wilkie Collins (1824-1889) was born in London in 1824, the eldest son of the landscape painter William Collins. In 1846 he was entered to read for the bar at Lincoln's Inn, where he gained the knowledge that was to give him much of the material for his writing. From the early 1850s he was a friend of Charles Dickens, who produced and acted in two melodramas written by Collins, "The Lighthouse" and "The Frozen Deep". Of his novels, Collins is best remembered for "The Woman in White" (1859), "No Name" (1862), "Armadale" (1866) and "The Moonstone" (1868). If you enjoyed "Armadale", you might like Collins' "No Name", also available in "Penguin Classics".

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:38 -0400)

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"In January 2000, an Ambassador taxi twisted its way up the narrow road leading towards Dharamsala in the Himalayan foothills of northern India - the home-in-exile of the Dalai Lama. Inside was a fourteen-year-old boy, the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, one of the most important figures in Tibetan Buddhism. His arrival was the culmination of an extraordinary escape that had brought him 900 miles across the Himalayas, in conditions of high danger, from the monastery in Tibet where he had lived since he was seven years old." "The Karmapas, the great wisdom teachers and miracle workers of Tibetan Buddhism, are the oldest line of identifiable reincarnates in Tibet, older even than the Dalai Lamas. When the 17th suddenly appeared in Dharamsala, everyone was taken by surprise - the global media, the Chinese government, his devotees around the world.". "Fascinated by this charismatic young figure, Mick Brown travelled to Dharamsala to meet him, and found himself drawn into the labyrinthine - not to say surreal - web of intrigue surrounding the 17th Karmapa's recognition and young life. The Karmapas traditionally leave a letter before they die, predicting exactly where their next incarnation will be found. The discovery of the 17th in 1992 shook the foundations of the Karmapa lineage, and was followed by the appearance of a contestant to his throne.". "In this feud of Byzantine complexity, Mick Brown gains unique access to both sides, following each twist in the tale with clarity and zest. Here are stories of miracles and allegations of murder, political conspiracy and the settling of two hundred-year-old scores. Piety jostles with greed, truth with falsehood, the strength of human aspiration with the frailty of human nature. And at the centre of it all is the extraordinary figure of one of the great spiritual teachers of the coming age: the 17th Karmapa."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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