, Apr 1, 2004
- 672 pages
1866. A close friend of Charles Dickens, Collins is one of the most readable of the Victorian novelists and some critics credit him with the invention of Sensation/Detective novel. Originally serialized in The Cornhill, in Armadale the two heroes of the novel, Ozias Midwinter and Allan Armadale, are born under a curse since Midwinter's father had murdered Armadale's father. On his death bed, Midwinter's father warns that if these two sons ever meet, tragedy will occur. Midwinter learns the story and is uncertain whether to leave Allan or to work at changing their fate. The novel also features a doctor who is running a clandestine abortion clinic. When that operation is shut down by the police, he opens a private sanitarium for monetary gain. When the local ladies come to tour the facilities he espouses a system of liberal care, when in actuality the building is laid out with an intricate system of pipes that allow him to keep his patients continually sedated. At the novel's end, the doctor is found to be planning a murder using those pipes. See other titles by this author available from Kessinger Publishing.