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Blind Love / Edition 1

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2003 Paperback New Paperback, no spine or cover creases, clean, tight, unmarked, Blind Love is Wilkie Collins's final novel. Although he did not live to complete the work, he ... left detailed plans for the last third of this absorbingly plotted novel which were faithfully executed by his colleague, the popular author Walter Besant. The novel is set during the Irish Land War of the early 1880s and tells the story of Iris Henley, an independent young woman who marries the "wild" Lord Harry Norland, a member of. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Blind Love is Wilkie Collins's final novel. Although he did not live to complete the work, he left detailed plans for the last third of this absorbingly plotted novel which were faithfully executed by his colleague, the popular author Walter Besant. The novel is set during the Irish Land War of the early 1880s and tells the story of Iris Henley, an independent young woman who marries the “wild” Lord Harry Norland, a member of an Irish secret society, and becomes unhappily drawn into a conspiracy plot.
The Broadview edition of Blind Love includes a critical introduction and primary source materials that address the novel's focus on movements for Irish independence. Appendices include newspaper accounts of Ireland during the Land War and of the fraud case on which Collins based his story, articles reacting to Collins's sudden death, Punch cartoons depicting the English attitudes toward the Irish, and contemporary reviews.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This edition of Collins's Blind Love offers the best of modern scholarship—it is impossible to praise it too much. Professors Bachman and Cox add considerably to Broadview's series of reasonably-priced fine scholarly editions." - A.D. Hutter, UCLA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781551114477
  • Publisher: Broadview Press
  • Publication date: 12/11/2003
  • Series: Broadview Literary Texts Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 465
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Wilkie Collins

Maria K. Bachman is Assistant Professor of English at Coastal Carolina University, Conway, South Carolina.
Don Richard Cox is Professor of English and Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Both editors also co-edited Reality's Dark Light: The Sensational Wilkie Collins (University of Tennessee Press, 2003).

Biography

Wilkie Collins has long been overshadowed by his friend and collaborator Charles Dickens -- unfortunately for readers who have consequently not discovered one of literature's most compelling writers. His novels are ceremonious and none too brief; they are also irresistible. Take the opening lines of his 1852 story of marital deceit, Basil: "What am I now about to write? The history of little more than the events of one year, out of the twenty-four years of my life. Why do I undertake such an employment as this? Perhaps, because I think that my narrative may do good; because I hope that, one day, it may be put to some warning use." It's a typical Collins opening, one that draws the reader in with a tone that's personal, but carries formality and import.

With his long, frizzy black beard and wide, sloping forehead, Collins looked like a grandfatherly type, even in his 30s. But his thinking and lifestyle were unconventional, even a bit ahead of his time. His characters (particularly the women) have a Henry James–like predilection for bucking social mores, and he occasionally found his work under attack by morality-mongers. Collins was well aware of his books' potential to offend certain Victorian sensibilities, and there is evidence in some of his writings that he was prepared for it, if not welcoming of it. He writes in the preface to Armadale, his 1866 novel about a father's deathbed murder confession, "Estimated by the clap-trap morality of the present day, this may be a very daring book. Judged by the Christian morality which is of all time, it is only a book that is daring enough to speak the truth."

Collins began his career by writing his painter father's biography. He gained popularity when he began publishing stories and serialized novels in Dickens's publications, Household Words and All the Year Round. His best-known works are The Woman in White and The Moonstone, both of which -- along with Basil -- have been made into films.

Collins often alludes to fantastic, supernatural happenings in his stories; the events themselves are usually borne out by reasonable explanations. What remains are the electrifying effects one human being can have upon another, for better and for worse. His main characters are often described in terms such as "remarkable," "extraordinary," and "singular," lending their actions -- and thereby the story -- a special urgency. In one of his great successes, 1860's The Woman in White, Collins spins what is basically a magnificent con story into something almost ghostly: The fates of two look-alike women -- a beautiful, well-off woman and a poor insane-asylum escapee -- are intertwined and manipulated by two evil men. One of those is among the best fictional villains ever created, the kill-‘em-with-kindness Count Fosco. Fosco is emblematic of another Collins hallmark -- antagonists who manage to throw their victims off guard by some powerful charm of personality or appearance.

The Moonstone, published in 1868, is regarded by many to be the first English detective novel. Starring the unassuming Sergeant Cuff, it follows the trail of a sought-after yellow diamond from India that has fallen into the wrong hands. Like The Woman in White, the novel is told in multiple first person narratives that display Collins's gift for distinctive and often humorous voices. Whether it is servants, foreigners, or the wealthy, Collins is an equal-opportunity satirist who quietly but deftly pokes fun at human foibles even as he draws nuanced, memorable characters.

Though The Woman in White and The Moonstone are Collins's standouts, he had a productive, consistent career; the novels Armadale, No Name and Poor Miss Finch are worthwhile reads, and his short stories will particularly appeal to Edgar Allan Poe fans. Fortunately in the case of this underappreciated writer, there are plenty of titles to appreciate.

Good To Know

Collins studied law, and though he never practiced as a lawyer, his knowledge of the subject is evident in his fiction. He also apprenticed with a tea merchant in his pre-publication years.

He was addicted to laudanum, a form of opium that he used to treat his pain from rheumatic gout.

Collins never married, but he had a long-term live-in relationship with one woman, and a second romance that produced three children.

He is named after popular artist Sir David Wilkie; both his parents were painters who counted Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth among their friends.

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    1. Also Known As:
      William Wilkie Collins (full name)
      Wilkie Collins
    1. Date of Birth:
      December 8, 1824
    2. Place of Birth:
      London, England
    1. Date of Death:
      September 23, 1889
    2. Place of Death:
      London, England

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Historical Context: The Irish Question
Wilkie Collins's Response to the Irish Question
Anglo-Saxon vs. Celt: The Imperialist Agenda
Wilkie Collins and the "Woman Question"
The Von Scheurer Fraud
Blind Love: The History and Evolution of the Text
William Wilkie Collins: A Brief Chronology
A Note on the Text
Blind Love
Appendix A: Reaction to the Death of Wilkie Collins
1. "Death of Mr. Wilkie Collins," The Times, 24 September 1889
2. "The Late Mr. Wilkie Collins," The Illustrated London News, 28 September 1889
3. "Obituary. Wilkie Collins," The Academy, 28 September 1889
Appendix B: Contemporary Reviews of Collins’s Work
1. Edmund Yates, "The Works of Wilkie Collins," Temple Bar, August 1890
2. Meredith White Thompson, "Wilkie Collins," The Spectator, 28 September 1889
3. George Cotterell, "New Novels," The Academy, 15 March 1890
4. "Blind Love," New York Tribune, 23 January 1890
5. Andrew Lang, "Mr. Wilkie Collins's Novels," Contemporary Review, January 1890
6. Harold Quilter, "In Memoriam Amici: Wilkie Collins," The Universal Review, 5 (1889)
Appendix C: Horace Pym’s Notes on the Von Scheurer Case
Appendix D: Newspaper Accounts of the Insurance Trial
1. "The Scheurer Frauds," The Times, 25 April 1888
2. "France," The Times, 26 April 1888
3. "France," The Times, 27 April 1888
Appendix E: The Prologue to “Iris,” Manuscript "C," 1887
Appendix F: Excerpts from Collins’s Plans for Blind Love: The Synopsis
1. The Cast of Characters
2. The Synopsis
Appendix G: The Irish Question
1. Accounts from The Times, 1882
2. The Irish as Depicted in Punch, 1866, 1881, 1882
Appendix H: The Duties of the Lady’s Maid
Select Bibliography

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