❴Read❵ ➪ Wilkie Collins Author Peter Ackroyd – Motyourdrive.co.uk

Wilkie Collins pdf Wilkie Collins, ebook Wilkie Collins, epub Wilkie Collins, doc Wilkie Collins, e-pub Wilkie Collins, Wilkie Collins 2ba0e655ee5 Ackroyd At His Best Gripping Short Life Of The Extraordinary Wilkie Collins, Author Of The Moonstone And The Woman In WhiteShort And Oddly Built, With A Head Too Big For His Body, Extremely Short Sighted, Unable To Stay Still, Dressed In Colourful Clothes, As If Playing A Certain Part In The Great General Drama Of Life Wilkie Collins Looked Distinctily Strange But He Was None The Less A Charmer, Befriended By The Great, Loved By Children, Irresistibly Attractive To Women And Avidly Read By Generations Of ReadersAckroyd Follows His Hero, The Sweetest Tempered Of All The Victorian Novelists , From His Childhood As The Son Of A Well Known Artist To His Struggling Beginnings As Writer, His Years Of Fame And His Life Long Friendship With The Other Great London Chronicler, Charles Dickens A True Londoner, Collins, Like Dickens, Was Fascinated By The Secrets And Crimes The Fraud, Blackmail And Poisonings That Lay Hidden Behind The City S Respectable Facade He Was A Fighter, Never Afraid To Point Out Injustices And Shams, Or To Tackle The Establishment Head On As Well As His Enduring Masterpieces, The Moonstone Often Called The First True Detective Novel And The Sensational Woman In White , He Produced An Intriguing Array Of Lesser Known Works Collins Had His Own Secrets He Never Married, But Lived For Thirty Years With The Widowed Caroline Graves, And Also Had A Second Liaison, As Mr And Mrs Dawson , With A Younger Mistress, Martha Rudd, With Whom He Had Three Children Both Women Remained Devoted As Illness And Opium Taking Took Their Toll He Died In , In The Middle Of Writing His Last Novel Blind LoveTold With Peter Ackroyd S Inimitable Verve This Is A Ravishingly Entertaining Life Of A Great Story Teller, Full Of Surprises, Rich In Humour And Sympathetic Understanding


10 thoughts on “Wilkie Collins

  1. says:

    Poor William Wilkie Collins, destined forever to fall under the shadow of Charles Dickens, his contemporary and his friend Poor William Wilkie Collins, a man who wrote two great novels and a lot of middling ones But, oh, how captivating this master of Victorian melodrama could be, how mesmerising, how compelling I read The Woman in White in less than a day, horribly fascinated by the dastardly deeds of Sir Percival Gylde and Count Fosco, two of the most delightfully dark villains in all of Victorian literature The Moonstone, which I also devoured in a fever, is, as T S Eliot once said, the first and best detective novel in the English literary canon Collins was a Londoner, born and bred Like Dickens he is a chronicler of the city in a time of great transition It s as well that we remember him in this year when his mentor is being so lavishly celebrated Peter Ackroyd has in Wilkie Collins, not so much a biography as a literary pot boiler It s a pity, really, because if I were a publisher thinking of commissioning a work on Collins Ackroyd would be the first writer to come to mind After all, who could be better Who could be better than a man who wrote masterly biographies of Dickens and of London But Wilkie Collins is oddly two dimensional, almost as if the author was bored with the subject, the occasional flashes of brilliance notwithstanding There is much to fascinate in the life of Collins, a man in so many ways wholly untypical of his times He had none of Dickens bourgeois respectability He never married Instead he had two long term mistresses, one of whom bore him three children Two mistresses, both of whom knew of the other, meant two households and lots of imaginative juggling There is an interesting parallel here with his fiction, where doppelgangers abound I m thinking specifically of Laura Farlie and Anne Catherick in The Woman in White, shadows, perhaps, of Caroline Graves and Martha Rudd, the women in Marylebone Like Thomas de Quincy, Collins was an English opium eater Suffering from rheumatic gout , a Victorian portmanteau covering a variety of sins the sin in Collins case may have been venereal , he took increasing quantities of laudanum, a tincture of alcohol and opium freely available at the time By his mid thirties he was drinking to levels that would have killed those not habituated There were consequences, of course, terrifying hallucinations, the sort of demon that pursued de Quincy, except his pursuer wasn t a Chinaman read Confessions of an English Opium Eater but yet another doppelganger, another Wilkie Collins Ill health, addiction and domestic complexity did not stop him working, though by his own admission he had no recollection at all of writing large parts of The Moonstone As a novelist he came at just the right time Paper taxes had been abolished in the 1820s there had been important breakthroughs in printing technology and a mass market was developing with the improvement in elementary education This was all helped along by the expansion of the railway, with travellers able to buy Shilling Shockers at the new stations The Woman in White was an immediate sensation, the first edition selling out within a short space of time It also caused what we would now call product placement, with Woman in White bonnets, Woman in White perfume and even a Woman in White waltz Collins knew his public He liked to travel around on the new London omnibuses, picking up snatches of conversation, then colouring his fiction He was really the first modern sensationalist, and how sensational he could be, touching on the lowest recesses of human behaviour murder, fraud, adultery and blackmail And, yes, sex It s quite rightly said that there is sex in Collins books than there is anywhere else in the fiction of the time, outside underground pornography In Basil the eponymous hero discovers he has been cuckolded when he listens through a thin wall while his young bride does the wild thing noisily with the book s villain Hardly surprising, given his unusual domestic arrangements, he was critical of what he called clap trap morality He was particularly critical of the way that women were treated at the time To compensate for this, as Ackroyd points out, he created in his books fiercely independent women who defied the conventions of nineteenth century femininity So, then, there is lots to be going on with about a writer, about his public and about his times But Ackroyd seems to have taken his own somnambulant trip through Wilkie Collins It s a brief life, a mere two hundred pages compared with the thousand or so of the magisterial Dickens That may not have been so bad there is far less original material for a life of Collins than there is for Dickens but the subject does not seem to engage him His pedestrian treatment certainly won t gain Collins many new readers The problem is, in the end, he makes the author sound like a bit of a bore, a measure, I suspect of his own boredom, or, sad to say, declining power as a writer I don t want to be completely unfair As I said above, there are occasional flashes of brilliance, of the old Ackroyd He still has a penetrating eye for detail, picking up on the future significance of the magnifying glass in detective fiction from Sergeant Cuff s use of it in The Moonstone The prose shines at points but mostly it s a picture painted in dull monotones It gives me the appearance of a book written in a hurry There are far too many crutches, must have , seems , is likely , the sort of authorial interventions to cover lacunae, words and phrases that simply madden me with their silly imprecision, proof that the writer is not the master of his subject Collins deserves better At one time Ackroyd could have done better.


  2. says:

    This very short biography of Victorian author Wilkie Collins is breezy in style and it skims the surface of his colorful life Readers are given facts about his childhood, oddly shaped body, dislike of marriage, two mistresses, friendship with Charles Dickens, travels abroad, and illnesses, but with only 233 small size pages of text there isn t room to go into much depth about them all I would have liked to learn about how the two mistresses managed their relationships with Collins overlapped, and though he provided for them and their children as best he could his refusal to marry put them both in a difficult situation I also would have enjoyed a larger sense of history from the book, and deeper insights into life in Victorian England, but as the subtitle indicates this is A Brief Life and I did come away from the book with new perspectives on Wilkie Collins.I was most fascinated by the ongoing overview of the books and plays Collins wrote that s integrated into his personal history, with the plots and characters of those works put into the context of his life and time This quick introduction to Wilkie Collins is like an intriguing appetizer that whets the appetite for .I read an ebook advanced review copy of this book provided to me at no cost by the publisher through NetGalley Review opinions are mine.


  3. says:

    I met Wilkie Collins a few years ago when Heather Ordover s CraftLit did The Woman in White I loved it It was entirely unexpected and fun and quirky and altogether engaging and, come to find out, all of those adjectives can be equally applied to the author And also to this biography Ackroyd is a deeply enjoyable writer, who obviously has a solid knowledge and affection for Collins I actually wish this had been longer, deeper but, as it is, it s lovely as an appetizer, something to whet the appetite for of Collins s own work The usual disclaimer I received this book via Netgalley for review.


  4. says:

    My friend saw this on the recently arrived table at his local school library and took it out for me because he knows I m a Peter Ackroyd fangirl.My friend then totally outed himself and asked Who is Wilkie Collins.Sometimes I want to cry.I love Wilkie Collins and I love Peter Ackroyd so it is not surprising that I loved this book Collins is one of the best mystery writers, and unlike his famous friend, Dickens, actually writes good women characters It is wonderful to read a biography of him that is engaging, fun, and expresses love for Collins work Now Mr Ackroyd, could you write one about Trollope


  5. says:

    Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography cclapcenter.com I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP it is not being reprinted illegally Wilkie Collins A Brief Life is the newest volume in the series of the same name by popular historian Peter Ackroyd, whose London The Biography I m a huge fan of as befitting its name, this particular series is an attempt to present informative and entertaining biographies of various second tier famous figures throughout history past volumes include people like Chaucer and J.M.W Turner , but in a succinct and fast moving style within a manuscript that I m guessing is right around 50,000 words, or barely the minimum length of the smallest novels on the market And Collins is a natural subject for such a series although known at his height as the second most popular author of Victorian England beaten only by his good friend and theatrical collaborator Charles Dickens , the fact is that Collins didn t have an interesting enough life to justify one of those 700 page barnburner bios like you see of other Victorian novelists, a man certainly with his notorious touches he didn t believe in monogamous marriage, and carried on essentially a polyamorous relationship with two different women for decades , but who by and large spent most of his adult life simply writing and then visiting southern Europe, writing and then visiting southern Europe, like so many of his upper middle class British Empire peers Highly worthwhile as a primer to why the largely forgotten Collins is such an important part of English language literary history among other accolades, he wrote Britain s very first detective novel, and virtually invented the genre known at the time as sensation stories, which in the 20th century morphed into the crime and noir genres we know today , this is a nearly perfect length for getting to know the man without him overstaying his welcome, and comes strongly recommended to anyone interested in the subject.Out of 10 9.0


  6. says:

    This is a brief sketch that doesn t in the end leave us with a much deeper understanding of Collins, but it does entice you into further reading There are a few novels I would read just based on how Ackroyd described and analyzed them Like Basil, for how it talks about obsessive love at first sight, and that other one about vivisection and the creepy scientist.It was odd though how each and every one of Collins vacations seemed to be listed here Who caresThere was this passage talking about how he hated woman doctors, like most people of his time, and how he had other peculiarities when it came to women I got the feeling he talked the talk when it came to independent women in his novels, but didn t walk the walk when it came to such women in real life A bit like a father saying he s got nothing against so and so, as long as they don t date his daughter.Of course we can excuse him as being a man of his age, but still there were very forward looking people during the Victorian times too Though being a radical or progressive and being a good writer doesn t always go hand in hand.


  7. says:

    I can highly recommend this short biography which charts the life and career of the author of The Woman in White, one of my favourite Victorian authors I enjoyed learning about the way he flouted Victorian protocol and lived with his mistress for many years while having three children with another much younger mistress who lived across the park just two streets away He was free in spirit and certainly unconventional however in his stories, he did delve into the seedy side of life and of those less fortunate than himself which wasn t always well received by his critics Hailed as one of the first detective story writers he was quite prolific by choice but also by necessity due to having to keep two families afloat in central London He wrote 30 novels and over 60 short stories as well as dramatising several of his stories for the stage His contemporaries do include an array of very interesting characters including The Pre Raphaelites and CharlesDickens Both authors serialised their stories in popular papers and magazines and Collins work was in great demand selling many thousands of copies He suffered greatly from ill health due to overindulgence and paid the price living much of his adult life with gout and eye problems but despite this lived a full and relatively long life Well worth a read especially if, like me, you are a fan of Collins.


  8. says:

    Read by Michael Pennington.blurb Short and oddly built, with a head too big for his body, extremely short sighted, unable to stay still, dressed in colourful clothes, as if playing a certain part in the great general drama of life Wilkie Collins looked distinctly strange But he was none the less a charmer, befriended by the great, loved by children, irresistibly attractive to women and avidly read by generations of readers Peter Ackroyd follows his hero, the sweetest tempered of all the Victorian novelists , from his childhood as the son of a well known artist to his struggling beginnings as writer, his years of fame and his life long friendship with the other great London chronicler, Charles Dickens A true Londoner, Collins, like Dickens, was fascinated by the secrets and crimes the fraud, blackmail and poisonings that lay hidden behind the city s respectable facade He was a fighter, never afraid to point out injustices and shams, or to tackle the establishment head on As well as his enduring masterpieces, The Moonstone often called the first true detective novel and the sensational Women in White, he produced an intriguing array of lesser known works But Collins had his own secrets he never married, but lived for thirty years with the widowed Caroline Graves, and also had a second liaison, as Mr and Mrs Dawson , with a younger mistress, Martha Rudd, with whom he had three children Both women remained devoted as illness and opium taking took their toll he died in 1889, in the middle of writing his last novel Blind Love Told with Peter Ackroyd s inimitable verve this is a ravishingly entertaining life of a great story teller, full of surprises, rich in humour and sympathetic understanding.Abridged by Libby SpurrierProducer Joanna Green A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.Well worth splashing out for the book when the price comes down a bit.3 The House of Doctor Dee5 Dickens4 Chatterton1 The Lambs of London4 Shakespeare3.5 Hawksmoor


  9. says:

    Biographies and non fiction are always such an interesting genre for me It must be such a challenge trying to research a person or subject so famous or well known and still be able to bring something new to the table Not to mention write a book that doesn t read like a boring history timeline with a bunch of dates and milestones in a person s life.So I am always intrigued when non fiction and or biographies come across my nightstand for review, if the person or subject interests me I usually give it a go Wilkie Collins has been a very interesting literary figure for me since I read Drood by Dan Simmons a few years ago While I didn t really like the book itself that well..the character Wilkie Collins appealed to me so much that I read his novel The Woman in White a short time later.As I said, sometimes it s hard as a biographer or non fiction writer to bring a new voice or freshness to a popular or well known subject or person..but Peter Ackroyd does not disappoint While this is a relatively short biography, he fills it with interesting details, behind the scenes tidbits, and facts about Collins s life and literary career Some were well known, like his friendship with Dickens, while others were new to me such as how much he influenced the detective genre etc.His writing style was fluid, straight forward, and active I didn t feel like I was reading a bland biography at all It was well written and just long enough to get the job done and keep me interested but also made me want to learn about Collins For some people that might be a criticism, but I looked at this novel like it was an intro to who he was and gave a brief background for those who are interested but if you wanted to know you could read other biographies that were maybe longer or went into detail.See my full review here


  10. says:

    Really liked this biography I liked the length and how quirkily is that a word it was written Wilkie would have approved


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