The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

About the book

One of the earliest works of ‘detective’ fiction with a narrative woven together from multiple characters, Wilkie Collins partly based his infamous novel on a real-life eighteenth century case of abduction and wrongful imprisonment. In 1859, the story caused a sensation with its readers, hooking their attention with the ghostly first scene where the mysterious ‘Woman in White’ Anne Catherick comes across Walter Hartright. Chilling, suspenseful and tense in mood, the novel remains as emotive for its readers today as when it was first published.

Reviewed by Boaters Book Club:

Generally we were of the same opinion and it was awarded 3 out of 4 stars which always says a lot. It was considered a Victorian Melodrama, a novel of its time, reflecting life as it was then, straightforward read and therefore predictable. The opening few sentences were found hard to understand until one got into its rhythm. Many liked the way each character wrote their version of events but many disliked the idea of “the women in white” and thought the half sister underdeveloped. It was found to be repetitious. The post system of those days was admired. Many commented that it had obviously been written as a serial and found the “secret” an anticlimax. It was not considered as good as Dickens.

Star rating: ***

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