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Wilkie Collins was born on 8 January 1824 and died on 23 September 1889. In those 65 years he wrote 27 novels, more than 50 short stories, at least 15 plays, and more than 100 non-fiction pieces. A close friend of Charles Dickens from their meeting in March 1851 until Dickens' death in June 1870, Collins was one of the best known, best loved, and, for a time, best paid of Victorian fiction writers. But after his death, his reputation declined as Dickens's bloomed. Now, Collins is being given more critical and popular attention than he has for fifty years. Almost all his books are in print, he is studied widely, and new film and television versions of some of his books have been made. Nevertheless, there is still much to be discovered about this superstar of Victorian fiction.
One of Sue Perkins' favourite books. T S Eliot called The Moonstone 'the first and greatest of English detective novels'. A fabulous yellow diamond becomes the dangerous inheritance of Rachel Verinder. Outside her Yorkshire country house watch the Hindu priests who have waited for many years to reclaim their ancient talisman, looted from the holy city of Somnauth. When the Moonstone disappears the case looks simple, but in mid-Victorian England no one is what they seem and nothing can be taken for granted. Witnesses, suspects, and detectives take up the story in turn. The bemused butler, the love-stricken housemaid, the enigmatic detective Sergeant Cuff, the drug-addicted scientist, each speculate on the mystery as Collins weaves their narratives into a masterpiece of construction and suspense.
Penguin Readers is an ELT graded reader series for learners of English as a foreign language. With carefully adapted text, new illustrations and language learning exercises, the print edition also includes instructions to access supporting material online. Titles include popular classics, exciting contemporary fiction, and thought-provoking non-fiction, introducing language learners to bestselling authors and compelling content. The eight levels of Penguin Readers follow the Common European Framework of Reference for language learning (CEFR). Exercises at the back of each Reader help language learners to practise grammar, vocabulary, and key exam skills. Before, during and after-reading questions test readers' story comprehension and develop vocabulary. Visit the Penguin Readers website Exclusively with the print edition, readers can unlock online resources including a digital book, audio edition, lesson plans and answer keys. One night when Walter Hartwright is walking home, he meets and helps the mysterious 'woman in white'. Soon after this meeting, Walter starts a job as a drawing teacher in the north of England and falls in love with his student, Laura Fairlie. But Laura is engaged to Sir Percival Glyde. Then Laura receives a letter warning her not to marry Glyde. Walter is sure that the letter comes from the woman in white...
A thrilling tale of mystery and crime from a master storyteller. A pacy tale from the original master of detective fiction Wilkie Collins. Transported from the temples of India to atmospheric Victorian England, the scene is set for a tale which twists between death, drugs, mystery and, most of all, misdirection. Rachel inherits the moonstone from her uncle on her 18th birthday, a cursed diamond of sacred importance stolen from India. When the stone goes missing, Sergeant Cuff is faced with a myriad of possible culprits, from mysterious Indian jugglers who may not be all they seem, to a very oddly acting maidservant. Told from the viewpoints of various vivid characters, Collins spins a tale of intrigue with many a wrong-turn as the moonstone leaves a path of destruction in its wake. FLAME TREE 451: From mystery to crime, supernatural to horror and fantasy to science fiction, Flame Tree 451 offers a healthy diet of werewolves and mechanical men, blood-lusty vampires, dastardly villains, mad scientists, secret worlds, lost civilizations and escapist fantasies. Discover a storehouse of tales gathered specifically for the reader of the fantastic. Each book features a brand new biography and glossary of Literary, Gothic and Victorian terms.
When Francis Raven is roused from his sleep on the eve of his birthday and confronted by the sight of a woman trying to stab him, he is unsure whether she is real or an apparition. Years later, against the wishes of his mother, he marries Alicia, a woman with a strange resemblance to the mysterious visitor, who ends up attacking him on his birthday, before vanishing from his life. Is Francis's wife a ghost, a demon or a living human being? And will the prophecy of the night-time visitation be fulfilled one day? Originally published in Household Words in 1855 as 'The Ostler', but recast and expanded two decades later, The Dream Woman is a powerfully dark and suspenseful multi-narrative novella from the master of the mystery genre and the author of some of the most enduringly popular novels of the Victorian era.
On the evidence of The Dead Alive, Scott Turow writes in his foreword that Wilkie Collins might well be the first author of a legal thriller. Here is the lawyer out of sorts with his profession; the legal process gone awry; even a touch of romance to soften the rigors of the law. And here, too, recast as fiction, is the United States' first documented wrongful conviction case. Side by side with the novel, this book presents the real-life legal thriller Collins used as his model-the story of two brothers, Jesse and Stephen Boorn, sentenced to death in Vermont in 1819 for the murder of their brother-in-law, and belatedly exonerated when their victim showed up alive and well in New Jersey in 1820. Rob Warden, one of the nation's most eloquent and effective advocates for the wrongly convicted, reconsiders the facts of the Boorn case for what they can tell us about the systemic flaws that produced this first known miscarriage of justice-flaws that continue to riddle our system of justice today. A tale of false confessions and jailhouse snitches, of evidence overlooked, and justice more blinkered than blind, the Boorns' story reminds us of the perennial nature of the errors at the heart of American jurisprudence-and of the need to question and correct a system that regularly condemns the innocent.
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