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The Woman in White

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
By: (1824-1889)

Wilkie Collins’s The Woman in White tells the story of two half-sisters, Laura Fairlie and Marian Halcombe who were embroiled in the sinister plot of Sir Percival Glyde and Count Fosco to take over their family’s wealth. It’s considered to be one of the first “sensation novels” to be published. Like most novels that fall into this category, the protagonists here are pushed to their limits by the villains before they finally got the justice they deserved.

The story begins with Walter Hartright helping a woman dressed in white who turned out to have escaped from a mental asylum. A day later, he travelled to Cumberland to be a drawing master to the half-sisters Laura Fairlie and Marian Halcombe. While he was in their house he discovered that the woman dressed in white whom he helped was also Laura’s sister.

Walter and Laura eventually became very close to each other and had a relationship, but Laura was already set to marry Sir Percival Glyde. Marian advised Walter to forget his love for Laura and live their place, a painful advice which he followed. Laura eventually married Glyde and this is when things started to turn for the worse for the main characters in the novel.

Glyde and his friend Count Fosco were masters of deception and they’d do everything they can to get the things they want. In the story, Glyde was already in financial difficulties when he married Laura who was from a rich family. In order to get her family’s riches he’s willing to resort to desperate means. Glyde is portrayed here as an archetypical villain which every reader of this book will surely hate.

When it was first published in 1859, The Woman in White quickly became a best-seller because of its theme and storyline. More than a hundred years since its first publication, readers can still relate to its characters and empathize with the protagonists in the story.

First Page:

The Woman in White

by

Wilkie Collins

CONTENTS

First Epoch

THE STORY BEGUN BY WALTER HARTRIGHT THE STORY CONTINUED BY VINCENT GILMORE THE STORY CONTINUED BY MARIAN HALCOMBE

Second Epoch

THE STORY CONTINUED BY MARIAN HALCOMBE. THE STORY CONTINUED BY FREDERICK FAIRLIE, ESQ. THE STORY CONTINUED BY ELIZA MICHELSON THE STORY CONTINUED IN SEVERAL NARRATIVES

THE NARRATIVE OF HESTER PINHORN THE NARRATIVE OF THE DOCTOR THE NARRATIVE OF JANE GOULD THE NARRATIVE OF THE TOMBSTONE THE NARRATIVE OF WALTER HARTRIGHT

Third Epoch

THE STORY CONTINUED BY WALTER HARTRIGHT. THE STORY CONTINUED BY MRS. CATHERICK THE STORY CONTINUED BY WALTER HARTRIGHT THE STORY CONTINUED BY ISIDOR, OTTAVIO, BALDASSARE FOSCO THE STORY CONCLUDED BY WALTER HARTRIGHT

THE STORY BEGUN BY WALTER HARTRIGHT

(of Clement's Inn, Teacher of Drawing)

This is the story of what a Woman's patience can endure, and what a Man's resolution can achieve.

If the machinery of the Law could be depended on to fathom every case of suspicion, and to conduct every process of inquiry, with moderate assistance only from the lubricating influences of oil of gold, the events which fill these pages might have claimed their share of the public attention in a Court of Justice... Continue reading book >>


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