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Paperback The Woman in White Book

ISBN: 1530031540

ISBN13: 9781530031542

The Woman in White

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

Walter Hartright a young art teacher, directs a mysterious and distressed woman dressed entirely in white; but later learns that she has escaped from an asylum. Soon afterward, he travels to Limmeridge House in Cumberland, having been hired as a drawing master on the recommendation of his friend, Pesca, an Italian language master. The Limmeridge household comprises the invalid Frederick Fairlie, and Walter's students: Laura Fairlie, Mr. Fairlie's...

Customer Reviews

6 ratings

boring

this book just rambles without really saying anything

The biased narrators

Wilkie Collins created a fantastic novel which could be read in the manner that most of the reviewers have interpreted this book. Boy meets a mystery woman, falls in love with a look-alike who is forced to marry an evil man and eventually the woman in white reveals some secrets and conveniently dies. The early lovers reunite with the help throughout the book of the sensible sister. What really happened? This book was not written by one narrator, but many narrators with conflicting agendas. What if we assume that all are slanting their narratives to mislead the reader? Who is telling the truth? When you ask these questions and dig into the motivations and backgrounds of each of the narrators and characters, a very different story may emerge limited only by the imagination of the reader, but guided by Wilkie Collins. Were the accidental deaths accidental? Remember who was the narrator describing the accidental deaths. Were the good guys serial murderers, so they could inherit all the wealth in the end? What was the real relationship of the three heroes? These questions haunted me while reading the book and re-reading the book. I challenge anyone to re-read The Woman in white and question the motive and the story of each narrator as if you were attending an inquest or a trial. Did the narrators cleverly hide the truth from the reader? I have never read such an intriguing novel

Overnight Sensation

Wilkie Collins, friend of Dickens and progenitor of the detective mystery novel, is quite the writer. I can see why Dickens would befriend him and give him valued column space in his serials, and I can see why Collins would chafe at being considered the protege of Dickens. In some ways, but not all and not ultimately, Collins is the better writer - Collins handles mystery and anger better than Dickens. After reading Woman in White or Collin's mystery-starter The Moonstone (Modern Library Classics) and some biographical background on Dickens (for example the encyclopedic Oxford Reader's Companion to Dickens (Oxford Reader's Companions)), you should try Drood: A Novel. While fictional, Drood does a good job of painting the joys and tensions of Collins' friendship with Dickens, the sources and seducers of Collins' artistic skill, and the uniqueness and desperation of Collins' social standing and spiraling drug use. Collins and Dickens were larger-than-life characters in some ways better than any they ever created. Collins here creates the Sensation novel by marrying Gothic horror with the shock of realism in a blend that electrified the reading public of 1860, especially in its original serialized publication with weekly installments leaving readers dangling in suspense from week to week. In its day, long before NBC's advertising shills created the phrase, this was "must-see TV" of the mind. There are no Gothic haunted houses or ghosts here, no mystics or seances, although there are wild moors, rainy nights, and dark graveyards. The Sensation was created by placing real people in settings that resonated with the social settings and concerns of the time--class conflicts, loveless arranged marriages, false imprisonment in mental institutions, poison potions . . . . OK, so this isn't gritty 20th century realism, but it is a magnitude nearer to true life than say, Edgar Allan Poe's stories of a few years before. The "Woman in White" is a tale of half-sisters Marion, older, more independent, but unattractively fading into devoted spinsterhood service to the younger Laura, the enigmatic blond beauty who is committed to an arranged marriage to a much older man to whom she promised her betrothal as a child by her father's deathbed. Her husband Sir Percival Glyde is no catch despite his title, and when he runs into money trouble due to his profligate living, his violent temper and sordid past come into play. The supporting cast is strong as well--the drawing instructor who is Laura's true love, Anne Catherick, the "Woman in White" who is Laura's near-twin in looks, but not class standing or mental dexterity, and who plays a central part in the vile fraud perpetrated by Glyde and his best friend Count Fosco, the stereotypical sinister Italian nobleman with odd personality tics and ties to organized crime. Outside the plot, which was sensational in its day and is still sturdy enough to carry the modern reader's interest in the age of Hann

A Good Read

Don't let the length of this Victorian novel put you off... it's actually quite exciting to read at some parts and is a page-turner. The only complaint I have is the fact that the last 80 or so pages are all "wrap up" and it dragged for a bit. However, the rest of the book was very exciting and kept me interested. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book! The Barnes & Noble edition has quite a few typos (in one instance, a "1" was used instead of "I"!) but it's still a great value.

Gripping plot, engaging characters

I read this book in one day, a day where no classes were attended, no phone calls were taken, and no visits made. I cooked and ate my food with it in hand, and sometimes damned my inability to read faster, I was so eager to find out what was going to happen next. "The Woman in White" is not just one of the most engaging and gripping Victorian novels I have ever read, it is one of the most engaging and gripping novels of all time. Collins creates vivid, memorable characters (ranging from brave intelligent Marian to the surprising and sinister Count Fosco) who are engaged in a plot that twists and turns like nothing else. There are so many unexpected, even shocking incidents, and Collins moves between them with exactingly precise yet graceful and beautiful prose. Not only that, his narrative style, which moves from character to character, allows for fantastic comic interludes which break up the drama (the chapter from the point of view of the hypochondriac uncle is gut-bustingly funny). A couple of people I know, who are generally not fond of 19th century literature, loved this book. I have never met someone who has not been charmed by it. I strongly urge anyone and everyone to read it.
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