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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.
The Woman in White (1859-60) is the first and greatest 'Sensation Novel'. Walter Hartright's mysterious midnight encounter with the woman in white draws him into a vortex of crime, poison, kidnapping, and international intrigue. The novel is dominated by two of the finest creations in all Victorian fiction - Marion Halcombe, dark, mannish, yet irresistibly fascinating, and Count Fosco, the sinister and flamboyant 'Napoleon of Crime'.A masterwork of intricate construction, The Woman in White sets new standards of suspense and excitement, and achieved sales which topped even those of Dickens, Collins's friend and mentor.
A fabulous diamond becomes Rachel Verinder's dangerous inheritance. Outside her house watch the Hindu priests who have waited many years to reclaim their looted talisman. When the Moonstone disappears, the case looks simple, but no-one is what they seem, and nothing can be taken for granted.
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.
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.
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...
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