The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
Filed under: Book Reviews,Infinite TBR,Reader of the Stack Goes Canonical — Ibis at 11:07 pm on Friday, July 9, 2010

From the publisher:
The Woman in White famously opens with Walter Hartright’s eerie encounter on a moonlit London road. Engaged as a drawing master to the beautiful Laura Fairlie, Walter is drawn into the sinister intrigues of Sir Percival Glyde and his ‘charming’ friend Count Fosco, who has a taste for white mice, vanilla bonbons and poison. Pursuing questions of identity and insanity along the paths and corridors of English country houses and the madhouse, The Woman in White is the first and most influential of the Victorian genre that combined Gothic horror with psychological realism.”

My thoughts:
I quite enjoyed this “sensation novel”. It was extremely suspenseful and though I knew in advance what some of the plot twists were going to be, I was completely enthralled throughout. Not only did Wilkie Collins provide a wonderful escape to the nineteenth century complete with inheritances and stratagems, mad women and secret societies, mysterious foreigners (why are they always Italian?) and cruel men in power, but The Woman in White can be read with an eye to the rights of women and their position as second class citizens in every situation. On top of it all, Collins has given us the gift of Marian Halcombe, one of the strongest, most intelligent, most worthy of Victorian heroines.