The collected supernatural and weird fiction of Wilkie Collins, Volume 1

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Leonaur, 2009 - Fiction - 584 pages
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The first volume of this comprehensive collection
Wilkie Collins, author of 'The Moonstone' and 'The Woman in White' needs no introduction. He was considered the father of the detective story and his tales of mystery are well known and highly regarded. Collins also had a taste for the supernatural, the gothic and tales of terror, peculiarity and unease. All suited his style very well. This three volume Leonaur collection, available in softcover and hard cover with dustjacket, brings together what is, perhaps, an unprecedented collection of his writings in the supernatural and horror genres. This first volume contains the novel 'The Haunted Hotel' which combines mystery and the ghostly in the evocative setting of Venice, the novella 'Mad Monkton', and three novelettes and eight short stories including: 'Memoirs of an Adopted Son', 'My Black Mirror', 'Miss Jeromette and the Clergyman', 'Mr Percy and the Prophet', 'Nine O'Clock', 'The Siege of the Black Cottage', 'The Dream Woman', 'The Dead Hand', 'The Biter Bit', The Fatal Cradle' and 'The Dead Alive'.

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Contents

The Haunted Hotel
7
Memoirs of an Adopted
184
My Black Mirror
203
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

William Wilkie Collins was born in London in 1824, the eldest son of a successful painter, William Collins. He studied law and was admitted to the bar but never practiced his nominal profession, devoting his time to writing instead. His first published book was a biography of his father, his second a florid historical romance. The first hint of his later talents came with "Basil" (1852), a vivid tale of seduction, treachery, and revenge.
In 1851 Collins had met Charles Dickens, who would become his close friend and mentor. Collins was soon writing unsigned articles and stories for Dickens's magazine, "Household Words," and his novels were serialized in its pages. Collins brought out the boyish, adventurous side of Dickens's character; the two novelists traveled to Italy, Switzerland, and France together, and their travels produced such lighthearted collaborations as "The Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices." They also shared a passion for the theater, and Collins's melodramas, notably "The Frozen Deep," were presented by Dickens's private company, with Dickens and Collins in leading roles.
Collins's first mystery novel was "Hide and Seek" (1853). His first popular success was The Woman in White (1860), followed by "No Name" (1862), "Armadale" (1866), and "The Moonstone" (1868), whose Sergeant Cuff became a prototype of the detective hero in English fiction. Collins's concentration on the seamier side of life did not endear him to the critics of his day, but he was among the most popular of Victorian novelists. His meticulously plotted, often violent novels are now recognized as the direct ancestors of the modern mystery novel and thriller.
Collins's private life was an opensecret among his friends. He had two mistresses, one of whom bore him three children. His later years were marred by a long and painful eye disease. His novels, increasingly didactic, declined greatly in quality, but he continued to write by dictating to a secretary until 1886. He died in 1889.

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