Do love a bit of Wilkie Collins.
After reading a recent fascinating biography of the Victorian writer Wilkie Collins (1824-1889), I was inspired to search out what Collins items we have in our collections.
Collins was one of the most famous, and well loved Victorian fiction writers and is now probably best known for his sensation novels The Moonstone and The Woman in White. A literary phenomenon, sensation novels drew on the influences of melodrama and the gothic style to explore themes considered provocative by societal norms. In the 1860s, sensation novels and theatrical productions became closely linked with many of the famous sensation novelists, including Wilkie Collins and Charles Dickens, writing for the stage. Typically the sensation novel focused on controversial subjects such as murder, adultery, bigamy, insanity, forgery, identity-theft or prostitution. They were devised to give readers a thrill and to play on their anxieties, especially as many of these scenarios were played out in a…
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