Posted on December 17, Leave a comment Walter Hartwright opens the novel narrating a strange encounter with a woman in white on the outskirts of London. Helps her find a carriage, and finds out that she has escaped from psych ward. Walter gets a job teaching drawing to Laura Fairlie and Marian Halcombe. Walter goes to South America.
An exceptional mystery - full of twists and turns! It is very much in the style of Charles Dickens; and Wilkie Collins was a contemporary and friend of Dickens, who published it first, in serial form, in one of his periodicals.
Vesey sat through life. Sat in the house. A mild, a compliant, an unutterably tranquil and harmless old lady, who never by any chance suggested the idea that she had actually been alive since the hour of her birth.
Nature was absorbed in making cabbages when Mrs. Vesey was born, and that the good lady suffered the consequences of a vegetable preoccupation in the mind.
I can imagine it being read aloud in a drawing room after supper, with the family enjoying the different voices, gasping in horror at the villainy of some of the characters and cheering on the plucky heros. This is probably how Wilkie Collins expected it to be read, and it would probably work best as a melodramatic entertainment with a good reader.
Apparently there are 15 versions of this at Audible. To enjoy this kind of pacing, I think there has to be more going on than the simple, if mysterious, plotting in this book. But the characters are one-dimensional and the themes are obvious. Entertainment, perhaps but mindless and not very engaging.
What is interesting to see is the moral absoluteness of the heroic characters. Women, to them, are sacrosanct, gentle beings to be elevated and protected. This makes the bad guys particularly villainous when they abuse their wives or deceive others for money.
They all speak in restrained, elevated language, making the weakness of the one who loses his temper quite unspeakable. Fortunately for the English readership, the most evil of the bad guys is Italian, explaining his absolute lack of moral character and his odd habits.
The characters of the few women are also interesting, except perhaps for the central object, one of two women in white.
By contrast, her poor half-sister is energetic, intelligent, resourceful and strong. She does draw the admiration of the males, but only the most villainous of the bad guys is attracted to her, and in spite of her evident love for the hero and his admiration of her, she loses out to the cute one.
Along with these black and white human values are the social and political values implicit in the text, such as the repeated references to the unimpeachable British systems of justice and democracy especially when the villainous Italian Count Fosco extols their superiority.
The highest values are reserved for the educated upper classes, while the lower classes are described as ignorant and crude.
These same faults are common in other writers of 19th century fiction. Dickens drags out exposition, examines his characters thinking, deals in idealized stereotypes — but he does it with greater substance and style.
His depth of detail and character — even for exaggerated characters — draws a reader in, and his emotion creates sympathy. This is lacking in Collins.Story vs. law: acknowledge of “facts” being inadequate to the task of narration. Discussion of Crime: the perfect crime is one in which no one knows the crime has been committed.
Think about this as form for all narrative: SECRET. Woman In White: By Wilkie Collins (Illustrated And Unabridged) eBook: Wilkie Collins, The Woman in White: alphabetnyc.com: Kindle Store Amazon Try Prime Kindle StoreReviews: The Woman in White is definitely concerned with the difference between right and wrong.
(Collins actually studied law for a time.) But while people run around pursuing justice in this book, they ra.
The Woman in White (Book): Collins, Wilkie: The mysterious appearance of a woman dressed in all white leads to the discovery of a complicated plot involving a . Wilkie Collins's novel The Woman in White is a mystery in which art teacher Walter Hartright falls in love with one of his pupils, Laura Fairlie.
Laura Fairlie is part of a plot to secure her. Apr 05, · Watch video · Based upon Wilkie Collins Victorian mystery, the gothic tale tells of a pair of half sisters whose lives end up caught in a grand conspiracy revolving around a mentally ill woman dressed in white. As the story unfolds, murder, love, marriage, /10().