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Ackroyd at his best – gripping short life of the extraordinary Wilkie Collins, author of ‘The Moonstone’ and ‘The Woman in White’. Short and oddly built, with a head too big for his body, extremely short-sighted, unable to stay still, dressed in colourful clothes, ‘as if playing a certain part in the great general drama of life’ Wilkie Collins looked distinctily strange. But he was none the less a charmer, befriended by the great, loved by children, irresistibly attractive to women — and avidly read by generations of readers. Ackroyd follows his hero, ‘the sweetest-tempered of all the Victorian novelists’, from his childhood as the son of a well-known artist to his struggling beginnings as writer, his years of fame and his life-long friendship with the other great London chronicler, Charles Dickens. A true Londoner, Collins, like Dickens, was fascinated by the secrets and crimes – the fraud, blackmail and poisonings – that lay hidden behind the city’s respectable facade. He was a fighter, never afraid to point out injustices and shams, or to tackle the establishment head on. As well as his enduring masterpieces, ‘The Moonstone’ -often called the first true detective novel – and the sensational ‘Woman in White’, he produced an intriguing array of lesser known works. Collins had his own secrets: he never married, but lived for thirty years with the widowed Caroline Graves, and also had a second liaison, as ‘Mr and Mrs Dawson’, with a younger mistress, Martha Rudd, with whom he had three children. Both women remained devoted as illness and opium-taking took their toll: he died in 1889, in the middle of writing his last novel -‘Blind Love’. Told with Peter Ackroyd’s inimitable verve this is a ravishingly entertaining life of a great story-teller, full of surprises, rich in humour and sympathetic understanding.
Wilkie Collins: A Brief Life by Peter Ackroyd – eBook Details
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- Full Book Name: Wilkie Collins: A Brief Life
- Author Name: Peter Ackroyd
- Book Genre: 19th Century, Biography, Books About Books, British Literature, European Literature, History, Literature, Nonfiction, Writing
- ISBN # 9780385537391
- Edition Language:
- Date of Publication: 2012-2-23
- PDF / EPUB File Name: Wilkie_Collins_-_Peter_Ackroyd.pdf, Wilkie_Collins_-_Peter_Ackroyd.epub
- PDF File Size: 9.2 MB
- EPUB File Size: 8.0 MB
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