Wilkie Collins: A Biography

Wilkie Collins: A Biography

Wilkie Collins: A Biography

Wilkie Collins: A Biography

Excerpt

In a Bombay hospital towards the end of the War I re-read The Woman in White. During the months that followed I read more of Collins and began to wonder what kind of a man he had been. It was not easy to discover. In the flood of Victorian biography published in the last 25 years, much of it concerned with Collins' closest friends, Collins himself seemed to have been overlooked. Details of his life were unaccountably sparse. To satisfy my curiosity--shared, I soon learned, by many others--I started to investigate the mystery.

About 1948 I came to the conclusion that Collins had waited long enough for a biography, and, since no one else appeared likely to fill the gap, I decided to write it myself. My main purpose has been to assemble all the known facts of Collins' life, and in doing so I have drawn freely upon his letters, published and unpublished. Despite an affection for my subject which grew with my knowledge of him, I have tried to be objective. The result will, it is hoped, throw light upon one who has long been regarded as a literary enigma.

K.R.

London, September, 1951.

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