The Dead Secret

The Dead Secret

3.4 16
by Wilkie Collins
     
 

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"I want something I can "read" read." That's a sentiment familiar to most readers, expressive of a desire for a thumping good tale, for stirringly compelling storytelling. The immensely popular Victorian novelist Wilkie Collins has long been a favorite with those who find themselves in the mood to "read" read. Originally published in 1857, The Dead Secret,…  See more details below

Overview

"I want something I can "read" read." That's a sentiment familiar to most readers, expressive of a desire for a thumping good tale, for stirringly compelling storytelling. The immensely popular Victorian novelist Wilkie Collins has long been a favorite with those who find themselves in the mood to "read" read. Originally published in 1857, The Dead Secret, with its powerful blend of sensational drama and gripping psychological portraiture, shows Collins to be a master storyteller indeed.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Master Victorian entertainer Collins's fourth novel, and the first to be serialized in weekly installments, dates from 1857. It begins at Porthgenna Tower, the Cornish estate of Captain Treverton, at the deathbed of the Captain's wife. Before she dies, she insists on having her trusted maid, Sarah Leeson, write her husband a letter giving an account of a secret only the two women share, and swear, on pain of haunting, not to destroy the letter or to take it away from Porthgenna herself. Scrupulously following her mistress's bidding, Sarah hides the letter in an unused room of the Tower, leaves a note telling Treverton that his wife confided a secret to her she is afraid to reveal to him—and then vanishes from Cornwall, leaving the house, which Treverton has come to hate, to be abandoned, then purchased by a family whose blind son, Leonard Frankland, marries the Captain's daughter Rosamond years later when the real complications get underway. Modern readers, who will have no trouble figuring out the dead secret long before the characters do, are more likely to be engaged by the Dickensian minor characters, the hints of long-dormant intrigue, the heavy-breathing melodrama Collins would bring to perfection only three years later in The Woman in White, and, almost as an afterthought, the implied portrait of a whole social order few novelists in our more knowing time would ever attempt.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781412159883
Publisher:
eBooksLib
Publication date:
04/21/2010
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
412 KB

Meet the Author

English novelist and playwright Wilkie Collins was a prolific writer with a body of work comprising thirty novels, over sixty short stories, more than a dozen plays, and a wide range of non-fiction pieces. Collins is best known for his novels The Woman in White, an early sensation novel—a genre combining shocking gothic horror with everyday domestic settings—and The Moonstone, which is credited as one of the first modern mystery novels. In the 1850s Collins met Charles Dickens and the two struck up a friendship, which lead to Collins becoming a frequent contributor to Dickens’s journals Household Words and All the Year Round. Many of his stories have been adapted for film, including Basil, A Terribly Strange Bed, The Moonstone and The Woman in White. Collins died in 1889 at the age of 65.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
December 8, 1824
Date of Death:
September 23, 1889
Place of Birth:
London, England
Place of Death:
London, England
Education:
Studied law at Lincoln¿s Inn, London

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