Friday, 8 November 2013

5 Reasons to Love Wilkie Collins

We are one week in to The Moonstone readalong and, I have to say, I am loving it. I mean, I'm hardly surprised because it is Wilkie after all, but I am really and truly loving it. Sometimes the odd classic takes a minute to get in to (and by a minute, I obviously mean about 100 pages), but The Moonstone had me hooked from the get-go. I'm going to put that down to Gabriel Betteredge's narration. What a guy.

Anyway, to keep the Wilkie enthusiasm flowing I thought I'd share with you '5 Reasons to Love Wilkie'. I'm practising restraint here, there are so many more than five...

1. Marian Halcombe

Hello strong female character who is perhaps my role model (of sorts) in life. Need I say more?

2. Dickens and he were great chums

I own two books that these two delights co-authored: The Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices and The Perils of Certain English Prisoners. I've read bits of 'The Tour' and it is witty and detailed and brilliant. I look forward to getting around to the prisoners. Also, these two were actors together. Yes, Wilkie was an actor. This guy just gets more and more exciting.

3. His grasp of the slightly freaky detective mystery story genre is impressive
The Haunted Hotel? Seriously freaked me out for a bit at the end there...And the opening to The Woman in White? Wow *shivers*.

4. He was a little eccentric and a bit of a womaniser
According to Peter Ackroyd's biography, Wilkie starting taking an interest in the ladies at quite a young age. Did someone say hound dog?

5. He was prolific. 

I had absolutely no idea how many novels/novellas/short stories Wilkie had actually produced in his lifetime. I am stunned and slightly worried for the welfare of my bank balance.

And a bonus #6 for good measure: Wilkie was an actual Barrister. Man of many talents much? Though he managed to never step foot in court or actually do any barrister-ing. It may explain, however, the focus on the law in a number of his novels.

Have you come across any interesting Wilkie related facts?



  1. He has one of those rare faces where you can see EXACTLY what he'd look like without the beard. Also, YOU ARE A WILKIE FIEND AND I THINK I MIGHT BE CATCHING THE BUG. *peruses more Wilkieness to decide what to look for on Tuesday's book shopping extravaganza* :)

  2. I feel like writing "An Ode to Wilkie" some day soon.

    Talk about womanizer at young age - I just read from Daily Mail online that he lost virginity at the age of 12... "and travelled around Europe picking up girls with Dickens" (source is here:

    Oh, Wilkie, what an ode you will make :D

  3. Yes, yes and yes! I agree absolutly! And I love it from the beginning, too. Betteredge is great. I can see him right before me with his Robinson. ;)

  4. Man, I loved The Woman in White but I am struggling with this one. I don't know why it's not clikcing for me! I'm hanging in there though.

  5. I really wish I could join this readalong! But unfortunately my hands are all tied up with school reading... Love your enthusiasm!

  6. The novel Drood by Dan Simmons is the story of the Collins Dickens relationship and might be a good read for you.

  7. I recently finished The Woman in White. It was my first Wilkie Collins' novel, but I must say I'm hooked! I look forward to reading more by him in the future.

  8. Prolific? Now that's exciting. I read and loved Moonstone and Woman in White years ago, but lazily didn't check to see if there were any more at the time.


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