I would like to thank Faith Clarke, the great-granddaughter of Wilkie Collins and Martha Rudd, for her kind permission to quote from unpublished letters and manuscripts written by Collins. I would also like to thank those libraries and archives that have allowed me to draw on material in their collections: the British Library; the Dickens House Museum; the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin; the Mitchell Library; and the Pierpont Morgan Library. Bates College has provided me with research and publication grants, for which I am thankful.
Several people have provided me with encouragement and support while I worked on this book, and I am grateful to my colleagues at Bates College, especially Cristina Malcolmson and Carole Taylor, for their help. Andrew Gasson, chair of the Wilkie Collins Society, London, has generously supplied me with information about the collaborations of Dickens and Collins, and I am indebted to the work of Catherine Peters and Tamar Heller on the subject of Collins and his relationship to Dickens. I owe my greatest debts to Paul Cantor and Karen Chase, who introduced me to Dickens's ﬁction, and to Jerome McGann.
My husband, Matt Johnson, has shown great patience while I wrote and rewrote this book, as have our children, Nate and George: to them go love and thanks. I am also grateful for the encouragement I have received from my parents, Aileen and Leonard Grumbach, and from Ann and Jack Johnson.
Parts of chapter 2 were originally published in “Dickens and `Gold Rush Fever': Colonial Contagion in Household Words, ” in Dickens and the Children of Empire, ed. Wendy S. Jacobson (New York: Palgrave, 2000), reproduced with permission of Palgrave. An earlier version of chapter 3 appeared as “The