Read Poor Miss Finch [with Biographical Introduction] by Wilkie Collins Free Online
Book Title: Poor Miss Finch [with Biographical Introduction]|
The author of the book: Wilkie Collins
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 376 KB
Date of issue: April 4th 2004
Read full description of the books:Took me quite a while to get into this novel. That was my experience of No Name as well. In fact that was my first and almost my last experience of Collins. I nearly gave up on it and then suddenly found the pages turning themselves as I was hurtled along. This grabbed hold of me eventually but its hurtling grip was never quite as strong as for No Name and nowhere near as strong as for The Moonstone or Woman in White. (Mind you those two are very bright stars in the firmament of Victorian Literature.)
This would be the Wilkie Collins that I would place on my reading list for a 19th Century Novel course. The elements are more open and there are a lot of them. This would make a great seminar novel for students who are beginning to build up their own maps of the landscape of English literature and its recurring features. You can cross reference this novel with Hardy, with Shakespeare, with Locke and Berkeley, with Dickens and they are just the names I've thought of while typing this sentence.
I strongly recommend the introduction to the Oxford World Classics edition. This essay by Catherine Peters covers everything (and more) that I might have to say about the novel. It does what I like in a review which is to make me think that my own thoughts, as I was reading the book, had some validity. The fact that I like it because I agree with it doesn't necessarily make it a good essay but it saves me the effort of writing a long review.
My usual rules for judging a book include:
Did I enjoy it? Yes, eventually
Would I read it again? Possibly
Did I believe it? Not really but then I don't think you are supposed to. This is the Silas Marner end of Victorian literature where storytelling means just that and embraces the whole culture. If Silas Marner is in some senses a re-telling of Rumplestiltskin (or Tom Tit Tot to give the story its English derivation) then Poor Miss Finch is Beauty and the Beast.
Is there more to it that just the story? (Apart from the dangerously pejorative word 'just') I'd say an undoubted yes. This volume has enough to keep the literary philosophers happy for a seminar or two themselves.
Would I recommend it? To a fan of Dickens and Collins. Yes. To the student, see above. To the general reader unfamiliar with the works of Wilkie Collins I'd say read The Moonstone and (particularly) The Woman in White first.
Read information about the authorA close friend of Charles Dickens' from their meeting in March 1851 until Dickens' death in June 1870, William "Wilkie" 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' bloomed. Now, Collins is being given more critical and popular attention than he has received for fifty years. Most of his books are in print, and all are now in e-text. He is studied widely; new film, television, and radio versions of some of his books have been made; and all of his letters have been published. However, there is still much to be discovered about this superstar of Victorian fiction.
Born in Marylebone, London in 1824, Collins' family enrolled him at the Maida Hill Academy in 1835, but then took him to France and Italy with them between 1836 and 1838. Returning to England, Collins attended Cole's boarding school, and completed his education in 1841, after which he was apprenticed to the tea merchants Antrobus & Co. in the Strand. In 1846, Collins became a law student at Lincoln's Inn, and was called to the bar in 1851, although he never practiced. It was in 1848, a year after the death of his father, that he published his first book, The Memoirs of the Life of William Collins, Esq., R.A., to good reviews. The 1860s saw Collins' creative high-point, and it was during this decade that he achieved fame and critical acclaim, with his four major novels, The Woman in White (1860), No Name (1862), Armadale (1866) and The Moonstone (1868). The Moonstone, meanwhile is seen by many as the first true detective novel T. S. Eliot called it "the first, the longest, and the best of modern English detective novels...in a genre invented by Collins and not by Poe.
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