Penguin Books

  • Despite the grave misgivings of both their families, Valeria Brinton and Eustace Woodville are married. But before long the new bride begins to suspect a dark secret in her husband's past and when she discovers that he has been living under a false name, she determines to find out why he is concealing his true identity from her. Soon she must endure an even greater shock: the revelation that her husband has been on trial for poisoning his first wife. Convinced of his innocence, Valeria is prepared to do anything to clear her husband's name, and in so doing upturns the conventions of polite nineteenth century society.

  • The Moonstone, a priceless yellow diamond, is looted from an Indian temple and maliciously bequeathed to Rachel Verinder. On her eighteenth birthday, her friend and suitor Franklin Blake brings the gift to her. That very night, it is stolen again. No one is above suspicion, as the idiosyncratic Sergeant Cuff and the Franklin piece together a puzzling series of events as mystifying as an opium dream and as deceptive as the nearby Shivering Sand. T. S. Eliot famously described THE MOONSTONE as 'the first, the longest and the best of modern English detective novels', but, as Sandra Kemp discusses in her introduction, it offers many other facets, which reveal Collins's sensibilities as untypical of his era.

  • Anglais No Name

    Wilkie Collins

    Magdalen and her sister Norah, beloved daughters of Mr and Mrs Vanstone, find themselves the victims of a catastrophic oversight. Their father has neglected to change his will, and when the girls are suddenly orphaned, their inheritance goes to their uncle. Now penniless, the conventional Norah takes up a position as a governess, but the defiant and tempestuous Magdalen cannot accept the loss of what is rightfully hers and decides to do whatever she can to win it back. With the help of cunning Captain Wragge, she concocts a scheme that involves disguise, deceit and astonishing self-transformation. In this compelling, labyrinthine story Wilkie Collins brilliantly demonstrates the gap between justice and the law, and in the subversive Magdalen he portrays one of the most exhilarating heroines of Victorian fiction.

  • With an essay by T. S. Eliot.

    'Here was our quiet English house suddenly invaded by a devilish Indian Diamond - bringing after it a conspiracy of living rogues, set loose on us by the vengeance of a dead man' When Rachel Verinder's birthday present - the Moonstone, a large Indian diamond - is stolen at her party, suspicion and the diamond's mysterious curse seem set to ruin everyone and everything she loves. Only Sergeant Cuff's famous detective skills offer any hope of peace and a future for them all. The intricate plot and modern technique of multiple narrators made Wilkie Collin's 1868 work a huge success in the Victorian sensation genre. With a reconstruction of the crime, red herrings and a 'locked-room' puzzle, The Moonstone was also a major precursor of the modern mystery novel.

    The Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.

  • 'In one moment, every drop of blood in my body was brought to a stop ... There, as if it had that moment sprung out of the earth ... stood the figure of a solitary Woman, dressed from head to foot in white' The Woman in White famously opens with Walter Hartright's eerie encounter on a moonlit London road. Engaged as a drawing master to the beautiful Laura Fairlie, Walter is drawn into the sinister intrigues of Sir Percival Glyde and his 'charming' friend Count Fosco, who has a taste for white mice, vanilla bonbons and poison. Pursuing questions of identity and insanity along the paths and corridors of English country houses and the madhouse, The Woman in White is the first and most influential of the Victorian genre that combined Gothic horror with psychological realism.

    The Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.

  • The Woman in White famously opens with Walter Hartright's eerie encounter on a moonlit London road. Engaged as a drawing master to the beautiful Laura Fairlie, Walter is drawn into the sinister intrigues of Sir Percival Glyde and his 'charming' friend Count Fosco, who has a taste for white mice, vanilla bonbons and poison. Pursuing questions of identity and insanity along the paths and corridors of English country houses and the madhouse, The Woman in White is the first and most influential of the Victorian genre that combined Gothic horror with psychological realism.

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