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Woman In White Tie In Edition [Paperback]

Wilkie Collins , Trevor Nunn
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 4 2005 Penguin Summer Classics
'There, as if it had at that moment sprung out of the earth or dropped from the heaven - stood the figure of a solitary Woman, dressed from head to foot in white garments' Walter Hartright's encounter with the nameless and distressed woman in white begins one of the greatest mystery thrillers in the English language. A gripping tale, intricately plotted and compellingly told.

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Product Description


"This is an excellent edition of The Woman in White. It has been prepared with great thoroughness by two editors well versed in Collins studies and give the earliest published version of Collins's text. It provides a lengthy introduction covering most of the important issues raised by the novel. The annotations have been carefully researched and the various appendices succeed in furnishing the reader with exactly the right sort of contextual and background matter to give a better understanding of the story." (Andrew Gasson)

"To convey the sensationalism of The Woman in White, Bachman and Cox wisely choose the original, serialized version as their copy text. A thoughtful introduction places the novel in context, explaining its importance to sensation fiction, outlining its concern with the problem of identity and with constructions of madness, and discussing its narrative structure as well as its later stage adaptation. The appendices are especially useful, with their material on Victorian gender ideologies and Victorian psychology, including letters, articles, and reports illuminating the 'panic' over false incarceration for insanity." (Lillian Nayder) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

"There in the middle of the broad, bright high-road-there, as if it had that moment sprung out of the earth or dropped from the heaven-stood the figure of a solitary woman, dressed from head to foot in white garments." Thus young Walter Hartright first meets the mysterious woman in white in what soon became one of the most popular novels of the nineteenth century. Secrets, mistaken identities, surprise revelations, amnesia, locked rooms and locked asylums, and an unorthodox villain made this mystery thriller an instant success when it first appeared in 1860, and it has continued to enthrall readers ever since. From the hero's foreboding before his arrival at Limmeridge House to the nefarious plot concerning the beautiful Laura, the breathtaking tension of Collin's narrative created a new literary genre of suspense fiction, which profoundly shaped the course of English popular writing. Collins other great mystery, The Moonstone, has been called the finest detective story ever written, but it was this work that so gripped the imagination of the world that Wilkie Collins had his own tombstone inscribed: "Author of The Woman In White. . . " --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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First Sentence
This is the story of what a Woman's patience can endure, and what a Man's resolution can achieve. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superbly Written Victorian Mystery Jan. 29 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This one is referred to as a classic, as it should be, but it's really not the kind of book one first thinks of when hearing that word. For one thing, it's in part a mystery, and these generally have a tough time gaining and maintaining critical acceptance; for another, it was initially described as a "sensationalist" novel, and although that term meant something entirely different 130 years ago, the description still applies and probably has something to do with this book not having achieved the status that it deserves.
Whatever, this is a truly terrific read, in every respect, with a great plot, superb characters, and a magnificent writing style. The plot, briefly, has to do with a youthful and somewhat naïve heiress, who, through the manipulations and connivances of alleged friends, is basely used and driven to the brink of despair. Although her situation seems hopeless, she nevertheless has two supporters: her cousin, the superbly portrayed Marian Halcombe; and her former drawing-master--and the primary narrator of the tale--Walter Hartright. Gliding in and out of their lives is the title character, the mysterious and tragic Woman in White. It would not be prudent for me to give away anything else, except to say that about a hundred pages into this novel the plot gallops along at a break-neck pace, with several mysteries, secrets and plot-twists to be unraveled, all of which are completely credible.
The characters are superbly and memorably drawn, particularly the indomitable Count Fosco. He is a large, loud, magnificently-dressed, sweet-talking and irresistible force, constantly playing with his little mice and birds, and disguising in every way the plots and schemes which roil through his brain.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sleep was my second-best option March 11 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Everyone has their own criteria for what makes a great novel-for me the best praise is that(in the words of an earlier reviewer) I was desperate for lunchtime at work and hometime so that I could continue reading.I forwent sleep untill I'd finished the book.It took me three days when a similar-length novel can take me months.When you sacrifice things to read a book you KNOW you have a pearl.When you "don't have the time" you have an also-ran.
This book,for me,had everything:Fantastic prose(Austen-like),deep characters,convoluted plot,humour, supense.I shy from naming a favourite character out of fear of disloyalty to the others! I'd previously read Brave New World and it was just so awful with it's two dimensional characters and plot (albeit an outstanding idea)and I think this helped my appreciation of The Woman in White.I'd never even heard of it until recently.I,of course, would recommend you read this and,short of weddings,funerals, prepared to sacrifice your engagements!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A mystery novel to die for Sept. 21 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Count Fosco--Isidor Ottavio Baldassare Fosco, Count of the Holy Roman Empire, etc.--is as charming and likable a villain as one is likely to meet in literature. This is a brilliant and talented man of the world, a gentle animal lover who raises birds and treats his pet white mice as if they were his children. Count Fosco is also a scheming, cunning and avaricious man, who together with his friend, Sir Percival Glyde, conspire to ruin the lovely Laura Fairlie, who eventually becomes Lady Glyde.
_The Woman In White_ is a wonderfully written gothic mystery novel, a romance that is deeply atmospheric with richly developed characters. Each section of the novel is narrated by the participants in this complex yet incredibly involving book, the principals being Walter Hartright, a drawing instructor whose heart is always in the right place, and Marian Holcombe, Lady Glyde's loyal and loving half-sister. And, of course, there is the elusive, ill-fated Anne Catherick, "the woman in white," shrouded in mystery, and the link between Laura Failie (and her identity) and the malevolent machinations of Count Fosco and of Percival Glyde, who is desperate to protect his "Secret" at all costs.
Despite some unresolved loose ends, I was never less than completely immersed in this extraordinary story of treachery, betrayal, but more importantly sisterly fealty and devotion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting! May 22 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
No lover of mystery novels should miss this classic. Beautifully written with strong characterization, and a plot that will keep you guessing till the end. The Woman in White is more than a match to any modern day thriller. I will skip writing the synopsis entirely as that has already been done in the Editorial Reviews. However, special mention must be made for two favorite characters from the opposite ends of the moral spectrum. Count Fosco must be one of the most formidable villains in literature, but what make him particularly interesting is his charm, humor, eccentricity and moments of goodness. The other very impressive character is Marian whose strong character and resolution really shines through, she comes across as much more heroic than the novel's hero, Walter Hartright who is a little too goody two shoes for his own good and needs a lot of luck to succeed. I can't help but feel that Walter chose the wrong woman to marry, Laura doesn't seem to amount to very much and seems completely incapable of handling any problem.
Any way, read this and Collin's other great novel The Moonstone. A good time is guaranteed!
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars good quality
Delivered on January 22nd. Covers are in good shape, but is slightly wrinkled with only slightly used pages, with all pages intact. Look forward to reading this product.
Published 19 months ago by anezkaromuald
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating
A wonderful masterfully written mystery with well developed characterizations and a captivating story line.150 years later still fascinating..A must read.
Published 19 months ago by John Gartner &Alison Hegarty
5.0 out of 5 stars Good on many levels
Victorian classic crime drama. As interesting as a study of social mores. Beautifully written but not a quick gratification, often a little arduous to the 21st century mind.
Published 22 months ago by bookweasel
5.0 out of 5 stars Twisty!
This story is amazingly suspenseful and constantly surprised me at every turn. This is definately not your standard Victorian melodrama. Read more
Published on March 13 2012 by Adira Rotstein
3.0 out of 5 stars Mystery, Suspense and Justice!
Even though you want desperatly for the 2 people of this book to end up together, the book is not a romantic style novel at all. Read more
Published on July 8 2011 by DarcyFan
5.0 out of 5 stars The best 19th century novel I have yet read
This is an excellent novel. There is too much description, of course, but apart from that I can find no fault with it. Read more
Published on March 26 2005 by David C Polk
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing read that will keep you guessing
A friend of mine bought this book for me for Christmas and I was a little on the disappointed side. I thought from the blurb on the back and the time period the book is from that... Read more
Published on June 15 2004 by L. Butler
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't Put it Down!
This is a great book. I was completely pulled into the world created by Wilkie Collins. The characters are great, the suspense is fantastic. Read more
Published on Nov. 11 2003 by madcarrot
5.0 out of 5 stars Penguin Classics Edition is an Easy Read
I'll keep this brief. This is an excellent book, as other reviews will tell you. This particular edition, Penguin Classics, is the one I read, and I enjoyed it all the more... Read more
Published on Oct. 11 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars What a story?
Wow! I cannot describe the excitement and the suspense this book had stirred in me. It was painful to have to put the book down when it was time for bed (which was way into the... Read more
Published on March 26 2003 by "halongbay"
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