William Wilkie Collins, the oldest son of William Collins, a fashionable painter. Collins was named after a friend of the family, Sir David Wilkie.
He was born in London's Marylebone London on 8 January 1824, where he lived more or less continuously for 65 years. Today he is best known for The Moonstone (1868), often regarded as the first true detective novel, and The Woman in White (1860), the archetypal sensation novel. During his lifetime, however, he wrote over thirty major books, well over a hundred articles, short stories and essays, and a dozen or more plays.
He lived an unconventional, Bohemian lifestyle, loved good food and wine to excess, wore flamboyant clothes, travelled abroad frequently, formed long-term relationships with two women but married neither, and took vast quantities of opium over many years to relieve the symptoms of ill health. Collins's circle of friends included many pre-eminent figures of the day. He knew the major writers, particularly Charles Dickens with whom he regularly collaborated, as well as a host of minor novelists. His friends and acquaintances included some of the foremost artists, playwrights, theatrical personalities, musicians, publishers, physicians and society figures of the time. Collins's unorthodox lifestyle reveals a cynical regard for the Victorian establishment. This view is reflected in his books together with a sense of humour and a profound understanding for many of the then prevailing social injustices.
As he grew older, Collins suffered terribly from gout, for which he took laudanum. Most of The Moonstone was dictated while he was bed-ridden and in agony. He died in 1889.
1.Walter Hartright: A young art teacher, he is twenty-eight years old. He falls in love with Laura. He is very right man, he likes people but he can hate too. He wants to make everything to abolish Sir Percival Glyde.
2.Marian Halcombe: She is Laura Fairlie's half-sister. She is friendly, modest and sensitive woman. She loved her sister Laura very much, she would make everything for her.
3.Miss Laura Fairlie: She is Glyde´s wife, he married her only for her money. She really loves Walter. Her sister means for her much.
4.Anne Catherick: Mysterious woman in white. Laura's double. They are real sisters. She was closed in asylum, but she was able to escape.
5.Sir Percival Glyde: Friend of Laura's father. He is with Laura only for her money. He is very calculated man, who long only for money. He has one secret, which can destroy himself.
6.Count Fosco: Archetypal 'fat man' villain. He is conspiring with Glyde. He is artful and catty man, which makes scared feelings in people.
A short plot
The novel, for which is Collins most famous, was published in 1860. Walter Hartright, a young drawing master, was walking home from Hampstead on his last evening in London. On this time he meets a mysterious woman dressed in white, apparently in deep distress. He helps her on her way but later learns that she has escaped from an asylum. The next day he travels north to Limmeridge House. The household comprises Mr Frederick Fairlie. Laura Fairlie, his niece, and Marian Halcombe, her devoted half-sister are Walter´s students. Hartright finds that Laura bears an astonishing resemblance to the woman in white, called Anne Catherick. The simple-minded Anne had lived for a time in Cumberland as a child and was devoted to Laura's mother, who first dressed her in white.
Walter and Laura quickly fall in love. Laura, however, has promised her father that she will marry Sir Percival Glyde, and Marian advises Walter to leave Limmeridge. Anne, after sending a letter to Laura warning her against Glyde, meets Hartright who is convinced that Glyde was responsible for shutting her in the asylum. Laura and Glyde marry in December 1849 and travel to Italy for 6 months. Hartright also leaves England, joining an expedition to Honduras.
Ďaľšie referáty z kategórie
The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
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