Wilkie Collins

Wilkie Collins (William Wilkie Collins), 1824–89, English novelist. Although trained as a lawyer, he spent most of his life writing. He produced some 30 novels, the best known of which are two mystery stories, The Woman in White (1860) and The Moonstone (1868). Considered the first full-length detective novels in English and among the best of their genre, these two works also helped to define the genre of literary melodrama that peaked at the end of the 19th cent. Collins's heroines and his female villains are drawn with considerable clarity and sympathy and are usually the strongest characters in his novels. He was a close friend of Dickens, in whose periodical Household Words many of Collins's novels first appeared. Collins also wrote short stories, travel books, essays, and plays.

See his letters, ed. by W. Baker and W. M. Clarke (2 vol., 1999); biographies by W. M. Clarke (1988), C. Peters (1993), M. Klimaszewski (2011), and P. Ackroyd (2015); studies by M. P. Davis (1956), W. H. Marshall (1970), N. Page (1974), and S. Lonoff (1982).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Wilkie Collins: Selected full-text books and articles

Wilkie Collins: A Biography By Kenneth Robinson Macmillan, 1952
FREE! The Woman in White By Wilkie Collins Dodd, Mead, vol.1, 1912
Librarian's tip: Vol. 1
PRIMARY SOURCE
A primary source is a work that is being studied, or that provides first-hand or direct evidence on a topic. Common types of primary sources include works of literature, historical documents, original philosophical writings, and religious texts.
FREE! The Woman in White By Wilkie Collins Dodd, Mead, vol.2, 1912
Librarian's tip: Vol. 2
PRIMARY SOURCE
A primary source is a work that is being studied, or that provides first-hand or direct evidence on a topic. Common types of primary sources include works of literature, historical documents, original philosophical writings, and religious texts.
The Moonstone By Wilkie Collins Press of the Readers Club, 1943
PRIMARY SOURCE
A primary source is a work that is being studied, or that provides first-hand or direct evidence on a topic. Common types of primary sources include works of literature, historical documents, original philosophical writings, and religious texts.
Detection & Its Designs: Narrative & Power in 19th-Century Detective Fiction By Peter Thoms Ohio University Press, 1998
Librarian's tip: Chap. Four "The Detection of Innocence in The Moonstone"
Love's Madness: Medicine, the Novel, and Female Insanity, 1800-1865 By Helen Small Clarendon Press, 1998
Librarian's tip: Chap. 6 "The Woman in White, Great Expectations, and The Limits of Medicine"
The Literary Detective: 100 Puzzles in Classic Fiction By John Sutherland Oxford University Press, 2000
Librarian's tip: Includes discussion of Wilkie Collins in multiple chapters
A Companion to the Victorian Novel By William Baker; Kenneth Womack Greenwood Press, 2002
Librarian's tip: "Victorian Detective Fiction" begins on p. 177, and "Wilkie Collins's Challenges to Pre-Raphaelite Gender Constructs" begins on p. 365
Cyclopedia of World Authors By Dayton Kohler; Frank N. Magill Harper & Row, 1958
Librarian's tip: "Wilkie Collins" begins on p. 227
Criticism and the Nineteenth Century By Geoffrey Tillotson Athlone Press, 1951
Librarian's tip: Chap. IX "Wilkie Collins's 'No Name'"
The Power of Lies: Transgression in Victorian Fiction By John Kucich Cornell University Press, 1994
Librarian's tip: Chap. Two "Competitive Elites in Wilkie Collins: Cultural Intellectuals and Their Professional Others"
Representations of Illegitimacy in Wilkie Collins's Early Novels By Cox, Jessica Philological Quarterly, Vol. 83, No. 2, Spring 2004
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
From "Freak Show" to "Charity Case": The "Containment" of Deafness in Wilkie Collins's Hide and Seek By Anglin-Jaffe, Hannah Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies, Vol. 7, No. 1, January 1, 2013
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Wilkie Collins's Sleuths and the Consolations of Detection By Trecker, Janice Law The Midwest Quarterly, Vol. 54, No. 4, Summer 2013
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