Thursday, 22 July 2010

I'm in love with a Wonderful guy

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!


StuckInABook said...

I bought a copy of The Moonstone years and years ago, and I don't even know where it is anymore... don't know why I've read so little Victorian lit, unless it's the size putting me off...

oxford-reader said...

The Moonstone's not too long, although I actually think The Woman in White is a better one to start with, and that is a doorstop! But size isn't always a bad thing, I just think there's some victorian authors who manage to be quite heavy-handed and therefore the length bets ponderous. Not something you could accuse Collins of being!

lyn said...

Wilkie is wonderful, I'm glad you've enjoyed Moonstone & Woman in White. Armadale has a wonderful female villain & an incredibly convoluted plot. I love Dickens but I think Wilkie's female characters are just so much more believable. That's a huge generalisation but his women have real passions & I don't think Dickens really knew women as well. When you find out about Wilkie's complicated private life, you'll understand why he was so good at writing about women.