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Wilkie Collins : a life of sensation /
Andrew Lycett.
imprint
London : Hutchinson, 2013.
description
525 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some colour), map, genealogical table ; 25 cm.
ISBN
0091937094, 9780091937096
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
London : Hutchinson, 2013.
isbn
0091937094
9780091937096
catalogue key
9107995
 
Includes bibliographical references (pages [467]-476) and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
1868, and bestselling author Wilkie Collins is hard at work on a new detective novel, The Moonstone . But he is weighed down by a mountain of problems - his own sickness, the death of his mother and, most pressing, the announcement by his live-in mistress that she has tired of his relationship with another woman and intends to marry someone else. His solution is to increase his industrial intake of opium, and write the book T.S. Eliot called the 'greatest' English detective novel. Of Wilkie's domestic difficulties, not a word to the outside world: indeed, like his great friend Charles Dickens, he took pains to keep secret any detail of his ménage. There's no doubt that this arrangement was unusual in nineteenth-century England, particularly since Wilkie's own books focused on uncovering deeply held family secrets. He was the master of the Victorian sensation novel, fiction that left readers on the edge of their seats as mysteries and revelations abounded. In this colourful investigative study, Andrew Lycett draws Wilkie Collins out from the shadow of his friend and mentor, Charles Dickens. Wilkie is revealed as a brilliant, witty, friendly, contrary and sensual man, deeply committed to his work. Here he is given his rightful place at the centre of the literary, artistic and historical movements of his age. Part biography, part history, part intimate family saga, Wilkie Collins brings to life one of England's greatest writers against the backdrop of Victorian London and all its complexities. It is a truly sensational story. £20.00
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Acclaimed biographer Andrew Lycett uncovers a few skeletons in Wilkie Collins's closet, revealing a private life every bit as sensational as anything the author dreamt up in his fiction ."
"As delicate as it is thorough, Lycett peels away the layers of deception with which Collins protected himself and shows us the engagingly vulnerable figure beneath "
"Measured and informative... [with] some entertaining anecdotes along the way"
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Back Cover Copy
Praise for Andrew Lycett 'Superb... This is an exemplary biography, beautifully written, fast-paced and extremely perceptive. ' Selina Hastings, Sunday Telegraph on Ian Fleming 'A magnificently thorough biography... magisterial.' Terry Eagleton, Independent on Sunday on Rudyard Kipling 'Frankly, stunning. There is no other appropriate adjective.' Martin Booth, Literary Review on Dylan Thomas: A New Life 'Andrew Lycett's hugely enjoyable new biography.' Philip Hoare, Sunday Telegraph on Conan Doyle: The Man Who Created Sherlock Holmes
Bowker Data Service Summary
A biography of William Wilkie Collins, English novelist, playwright, and author of short stories. He was very popular during the Victorian era and wrote 30 novels, more than 60 short stories, 14 plays, and more than 100 nonfiction essays.
Main Description
1868, and bestselling author Wilkie Collins is hard at work on a new detective novel The Moonstone . But he is weighed down by a mountain of problems -- his own sickness, the death of his mother, and, most pressing, the announcement by his live-in mistress that she has tired of his relationship with another woman and intends to marry someone else. His solution is to increase his industrial intake of opium, and knuckle down to writing the book T. S. Eliot called the #145;greatest#146; English detective novel. Of Wilkie#146;s domestic difficulties, not a word to the outside world: indeed, like his great friend Charles Dickens, he took pains to keep secret any detail of his ménage. There#146;s no doubt that this arrangement was unusual in nineteenth-century England, particularly since Wilkie#146;s own books focused on uncovering deeply held family secrets. He was the master of the Victorian sensation novel, fiction that left readers on the edge of their seats as mysteries and revelations abounded. In this colourful investigative study, Andrew Lycett draws Wilkie Collins out from the shadow of his friend and mentor, Charles Dickens. Wilkie is revealed as a brilliant, witty, friendly, contrary and sensual man, deeply committed to his work. Here, he is given his rightful place at the centre of the literary, artistic and historical movements of his age. Part biography, part history, part intimate family saga, Wilkie Collins brings to life the story of one of England#146;s greatest writers against the backdrop of Victorian London and all its complexities. In its uncovering of secrets, it provides a truly sensational story.
Main Description
1868, and bestselling author Wilkie Collins is hard at work on a new detective novel, The Moonstone . But he is weighed down by a mountain of problems - his own sickness, the death of his mother, and, most pressing, the announcement by his live-in mistress that she has tired of his relationship with another woman and intends to marry someone else. His solution is to increase his industrial intake of opium, and knuckle down to writing the book T. S. Eliot called the 'greatest' English detective novel. Of Wilkie's domestic difficulties, not a word to the outside world: indeed, like his great friend Charles Dickens, he took pains to keep secret any detail of his ménage. There's no doubt that this arrangement was unusual in nineteenth-century England, particularly since Wilkie's own books focused on uncovering deeply held family secrets. He was the master of the Victorian sensation novel, fiction that left readers on the edge of their seats as mysteries and revelations abounded. In this colourful investigative study, Andrew Lycett draws Wilkie Collins out from the shadow of his friend and mentor, Charles Dickens. Wilkie is revealed as a brilliant, witty, friendly, contrary and sensual man, deeply committed to his work. Here, he is given his rightful place at the centre of the literary, artistic and historical movements of his age. Part biography, part history, part intimate family saga, Wilkie Collins brings to life the story of one of England's greatest writers against the backdrop of Victorian London and all its complexities. In its uncovering of secrets, it provides a truly sensational story.
Main Description
1868, and bestselling author Wilkie Collins is hard at work on a new detective novel The Moonstone . But he is weighed down by a mountain of problems _ his own sickness, the death of his mother, and, most pressing, the announcement by his live-in mistress that she has tired of his relationship with another woman and intends to marry someone else. His solution is to increase his industrial intake of opium, and knuckle down to writing the book T. S. Eliot called the _greatest_ English detective novel. Of Wilkie_s domestic difficulties not a word to the outside world: indeed, like his great friend Charles Dickens, he took pains to keep secret any detail of his ménage. There_s no doubt that this arrangement was unusual in nineteenth-century England, particularly since Wilkie_s own books focused on uncovering deeply held family secrets. He was the master of the Victorian sensation novel, fiction that left readers on the edge of their seats as revelations and mysteries were uncovered and investigated. The gap between Wilkie_s personal behaviour and professional aspirations provides a fascinating commentary on the mores of a bustling, striving, often savagely hypocritical society. In this colourful investigative study, Andrew Lycett draws Wilkie Collins out the shadow of his friend and mentor, Charles Dickens. With a father who was a Royal Academician and a brother a fringe Pre-Raphaelite who married Dickens_s daughter, Wilkie is revealed as a brilliant, witty, friendly, contrary and sensual man, deeply committed to his work. Here, he is given his rightful place at the centre of the literary, artistic and historical movements of his age. Part biography, part history, part intimate family saga, Wilkie Collins brings to life the story of one of England_s greatest writers against the backdrop of Victorian London and all its complexities. In its uncovering of secrets, it provides a truly sensational story.
Main Description
1868, and bestselling author Wilkie Collins is hard at work on a new detective novel, The Moonstone. But he is weighed down by a mountain of problems u his own sickness, the death of his mother, and, most pressing, the announcement by his live-in mistress that she has tired of his relationship with another woman and intends to marry someone else. His solution is to increase his industrial intake of opium and knuckle down to writing the book T. S. Eliot called the 'greatest' English detective novel. Of Wilkie's domestic difficulties, not a word to the outside world: indeed, like his great friend Charles Dickens, he took pains to keep secret any detail of his m nage. There's no doubt that the arrangement was unusual and, for Wilkie, precarious, particularly since his own books focused on uncovering such deeply held family secrets. Indeed, he was the master of the Victorian sensation novel, fiction that left readers on the edge of their seats as mysteries and revelations abounded. In this colourful investigative portrait, Andrew Lycett draws Wilkie Collins out from the shadow of Charles Dickens. Wilkie is revealed as a brilliant, witty, friendly, contrary and sensual man, deeply committed to his work. Here he is given his rightful place at the centre of the literary, artistic and historical movements of his age. Part biography, part history, part intimate family saga, Wilkie Collins brings to life one of England's greatest writers against the backdrop of Victorian London and all its complexities. It is a truly sensational story.
Main Description
1868, and bestselling author Wilkie Collins is hard at work on a new detective novel The Moonstone. But he is weighed down by a mountain of problems u his own sickness, the death of his mother, and, most pressing, the announcement by his live-in mistress that she has tired of his relationship with another woman and intends to marry someone else. His solution is to increase his industrial intake of opium, and knuckle down to writing the book T. S. Eliot called the 'greatest' English detective novel. Of Wilkie's domestic difficulties, not a word to the outside world: indeed, like his great friend Charles Dickens, he took pains to keep secret any detail of his m nage. There's no doubt that this arrangement was unusual in nineteenth-century England, particularly since Wilkie's own books focused on uncovering deeply held family secrets. He was the master of the Victorian sensation novel, fiction that left readers on the edge of their seats as mysteries and revelations abounded. In this colourful investigative study, Andrew Lycett draws Wilkie Collins out from the shadow of his friend and mentor, Charles Dickens. Wilkie is revealed as a brilliant, witty, friendly, contrary and sensual man, deeply committed to his work. Here, he is given his rightful place at the centre of the literary, artistic and historical movements of his age. Part biography, part history, part intimate family saga, Wilkie Collins brings to life the story of one of England's greatest writers against the backdrop of Victorian London and all its complexities. In its uncovering of secrets, it provides a truly sensational story.
Main Description
1868, and bestselling author Wilkie Collins is hard at work on a new detective novel, The Moonstone. But he is weighed down by a mountain of problems u his own sickness, the death of his mother, and, most pressing, the announcement by his live-in mistress that she has tired of his relationship with another woman and intends to marry someone else. His solution is to increase his industrial intake of opium, and knuckle down to writing the book T. S. Eliot called the 'greatest' English detective novel. Of Wilkie's domestic difficulties, not a word to the outside world: indeed, like his great friend Charles Dickens, he took pains to keep secret any detail of his m nage. There's no doubt that this arrangement was unusual in nineteenth-century England, particularly since Wilkie's own books focused on uncovering deeply held family secrets. He was the master of the Victorian sensation novel, fiction that left readers on the edge of their seats as mysteries and revelations abounded. In this colourful investigative study, Andrew Lycett draws Wilkie Collins out from the shadow of his friend and mentor, Charles Dickens. Wilkie is revealed as a brilliant, witty, friendly, contrary and sensual man, deeply committed to his work. Here, he is given his rightful place at the centre of the literary, artistic and historical movements of his age. Part biography, part history, part intimate family saga, Wilkie Collins brings to life the story of one of England's greatest writers against the backdrop of Victorian London and all its complexities. In its uncovering of secrets, it provides a truly sensational story.
Main Description
In the spring of 1868 Wilkie Collins found himself living a nightmare that could have come straight out of one of his bestselling novels. A visitor to his comfortable London town-house would have found him propped up in bed, desperately dictating the latest chapter of his new book, The Moonstone. Visible above the bedclothes would have been Wilkie's large, friendly face, framed by straggly whiskers, with its strange bump on the left of his forehead making him look like a lop-sided Cyclops. Nearby in the flickering light would have stood a bottle of laudanum, his palliative draught of choice when he needed to alleviate his excruciating pain. The ostensible reason for his discomfort was gout, a long-standing affliction, but a host of other troubles bore down on him. The curious double life that Collins had concocted around himself was threatening to come tumbling down, tarnishing his respectable Victorian image. He had worked hard over the years to present himself as a bachelor clubman with bookish inclinations and, like his good friend Charles Dickens, would have been distraught by the idea that his intimate personal relationships could become public knowledge. Yet here was the author living with family secrets and the possibility of scandal worthy of the racy Sensation fiction he penned. The Double Life of Wilkie Collins is the first definitive biography of this brilliant, conflicted, complex man and an unforgettable portrait of a life lived in a cant-ridden Victorian world.
Main Description
The definitive biography of Wilkie Collins: the Victorian novelist, playwright, author of "The Moonstone" and "The Woman in White," who lived a life of sensation.In the spring of 1868 Wilkie Collins found himself living a nightmare that could have come straight out of one of his bestselling novels. A visitor to his comfortable London town-house would have found him propped up in bed, desperately dictating the latest chapter of his new book, "The Moonstone." Visible above the bedclothes would have been Wilkies large, friendly face, framed by straggly whiskers, with its strange bump on the left of his forehead making him look like a lop-sided Cyclops. Nearby in the flickering light would have stood a bottle of laudanum, his palliative draught of choice when he needed to alleviate his excruciating pain. The ostensible reason for his discomfort was gout, a long-standing affliction, but a host of other troubles bore down on him. The curious double life that Collins had concocted around himself was threatening to come tumbling down, tarnishing his respectable Victorian image. He had worked hard over the years to present himself as a bachelor clubman with bookish inclinations and, like his good friend Charles Dickens, would have been distraught by the idea that his intimate personal relationships could become public knowledge. Yet here was the famous author living secretly with two women, juggling a host of family problems and the possibility of scandal worthy of the racy Sensation fiction he penned. "Wilkie Collins: A Life of Sensation" is the first definitive biography of this brilliant, conflicted, complex man and an unforgettable portrait of a life lived in a cant-ridden Victorian world.
Main Description
The definitive biography of Wilkie Collins: the Victorian novelist, playwright, author of The Moonstone and The Woman in White , who lived a life of sensation. In the spring of 1868 Wilkie Collins found himself living a nightmare that could have come straight out of one of his bestselling novels. A visitor to his comfortable London town-house would have found him propped up in bed, desperately dictating the latest chapter of his new book, The Moonstone . Visible above the bedclothes would have been Wilkie''s large, friendly face, framed by straggly whiskers, with its strange bump on the left of his forehead making him look like a lop-sided Cyclops. Nearby in the flickering light would have stood a bottle of laudanum, his palliative draught of choice when he needed to alleviate his excruciating pain. The ostensible reason for his discomfort was gout, a long-standing affliction, but a host of other troubles bore down on him. The curious double life that Collins had concocted around himself was threatening to come tumbling down, tarnishing his respectable Victorian image. He had worked hard over the years to present himself as a bachelor clubman with bookish inclinations and, like his good friend Charles Dickens, would have been distraught by the idea that his intimate personal relationships could become public knowledge. Yet here was the famous author living secretly with two women, juggling a host of family problems and the possibility of scandal worthy of the racy Sensation fiction he penned. Wilkie Collins: A Life of Sensation is the first definitive biography of this brilliant, conflicted, complex man and an unforgettable portrait of a life lived in a cant-ridden Victorian world.

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