He he. This blog gets fed into my facebook page - how many people on there will see the heading and jump to conclusions!
So this wonderful guy - who is he? Ladies and Gents may I introduce you to Mr Wilkie Collins. Ah, I see I have company!
Victorian literature has always been a big part of my reading, but up until this year, I had mainly stuck to the likes of Dickens and Eliot. Then, on a visit to a friend, I was given a copy of The Moonstone and I was immediately pulled into the heady world of Victorian England, which was very different from any I had experienced thus far. I took it to New Zealand with me, where it so managed to engross me that I kept devouring it, even as the scenery whizzed by (although in my defence, there's only so many violet coloured mountains one can look at at any given time).
I returned to the sunny(!) reaches of England and promptly dived into The Woman in White. Here again I devoured and couldn't stop until the final page had been turned. Both novels are fantastically written, moving at a terrific speed, and use numerous narrators, thereby ensuing that as many sides of the story are seen and understood. The Moonstone, in particular, has been hailed as the first detective story, as the genre is known today, although I think The Woman in White is perhaps even more so. I've started Armadale now, and have so far been sunk into the world of stolen identity, revenge and shipwreck .... all in the first few pages.
So, yes - a new author to add to the ever burgeoning list of favourites. Watch out Mr Dickens, there's now a rival for my affections!