The Woman in White / Edition 1

The Woman in White / Edition 1

3.9 168
by Wilkie Collins, Anne Collins

ISBN-10: 0582364132

ISBN-13: 9780582364134

Pub. Date: 09/28/2002

Publisher: Pearson ESL

Generally considered the first English sensation novel, The Woman in White features the remarkable heroine Marian Halcombe and her sleuthing partner, drawing master Walter Hartright, pitted against the diabolical team of Count Fosco and Sir Percival Glyde. A gripping tale of murder, intrigue, madness, and mistaken identity, Collins's psychological thriller has never…  See more details below


Generally considered the first English sensation novel, The Woman in White features the remarkable heroine Marian Halcombe and her sleuthing partner, drawing master Walter Hartright, pitted against the diabolical team of Count Fosco and Sir Percival Glyde. A gripping tale of murder, intrigue, madness, and mistaken identity, Collins's psychological thriller has never been out of print in the 140 years since its publication.

Product Details

Pearson ESL
Publication date:
Penguin Readers Level 6 Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Product dimensions:
5.04(w) x 7.76(h) x 0.25(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
William Wilkie Collins: A Brief Chronology
A Note on the Text
The Woman in White
Appendix A: Prefaces to the Novel
1. Preface, 1860, Sampson Low, Son & Co., Three-volume Edition
2. Preface to the Present Edition, 1861, Sampson Low, Son & Co., One-voume Edition
3. Preface. La Femme en Blanc, 1861, trans. E.D. Forgues, J. Hetzel (Paris)
Appendix B: Sample Page from All the Year Round
Appendix C: Commentary and Reviews of The Woman in White
1. The Opinions of Charles Dickens
2. Unsigned Review, Saturday Review (25 August 1860)
3. Unsigned Review [E.S. Dallas], The Times (30 October 1860)
4. "Awful Apparition," Punch (6 April 1861)
5. Unsigned Review [Mrs. Oliphant], Blackwood's Magazine (May 1862)
6. Edmund Yates, "Mr. Wilkie Collins in Gloucester Place," in Celebrities at Home (1879)
7. Wilkie Collins, "How I Write My Books: Related in a Letter to a Friend," The Globe (26 November 1887)
8. F.W. Waddy, "He Wrote 'The Woman in White,'" Once a Week (24 February 1872)
Appendix D: The Woman Question
1. From William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England (1765-69)
2. From Sarah Stickney Ellis, The Women of England, Their Social Duties, and Domestic Habits (1839)
3. From John Ruskin, Sesame and Lilies, 1865 (1907)
4. From Caroline Norton, A Letter to the Queen (1855)
Appendix E: The Lunacy Panic of 1858 and the Mesmeric Mania of 1851
1. “Lady Bulwer Lytton,” The Times (19 July 1858)
2. “Commission of Lunacy,” The Times (27 July 1858)
3. [Editorial], The Times (28 July 1858)
4. “The Tragedy of Acomb House,” The Sunday Times (1 August 1858)
5. “The Mad-House System,” The Sunday Times (15 August 1858)
6. “Lunatic Asylums and the Lunacy Laws (By a Physician),” The Times (19 August 1858)
7. “Commission in Lunacy,” The Sunday Times (29 August 1858)
8. “Law and Lunacy,” Punch (15 January 1862)
9. “Mesmerism; Its Dangers and Curiosities,” Punch (24 February 1844)
10. Anonymous, “Electro-biology,” Westminster Review (1851)
11. Wilkie Collins, “Magnetic Evenings at Home” (Letter 1), The Leader (17 January 1852)
Select Bibliography

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The Woman in White 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 168 reviews.
CathyB More than 1 year ago
The Woman in White is a Victorian mystery that is considered to be one of the best mysteries ever written. Written in 1859, it takes the form of an early detective novel with an amateur sleuth. The plot (man marries woman and schemes to get her money), albeit predictable by today's standards, is plausible, entertaining and, at times, slightly suspenseful. I attribute this slightness to the Victorian language itself. I'm not a fan of that style of speaking and found myself frustrated at times and thinking just get on with it all ready, stop dragging things out. The story is told from the viewpoints of several characters - much like a legal deposition where each character relates what he/she knows about certain events. ----- The characters were interesting and memorable; however, I was disappointed in the characterization/treatment of women - weak and inferior. Was this an accurate portrayal for the times? I don't know. I have read other Victorian novels and didn't come away with the same feeling. Because of his portrayal of women, Mr. Collins didn't do justice to Marion Halcombe, one of the more memorable characters in the novel. A greater role would have been appreciated more by today's society but, in 1859, who knows. Creating a lead woman character who 'out thinks' a man may have been taboo. The other memorable character was Count Fosco, the mastermind behind everything evil in the world. I am being a bit facetious; however, the character was so full of himself that I couldn't help but inflate his imaginary ego a little more. His character was fully developed - I didn't like him and found him frustrating - once again this could be attributed to the Victorian language. ----- Overall, I did like the novel; however, the above issues prevent me from giving it more than three stars. I recommend to those who enjoy Victorian literature and those who would like to read one of the first mystery novels. This is a long book and not a quick read - you will be in it for the long haul - which you will enjoy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Where has this book been all my life? Written in the time of Dickens and Stoker and as good as either, this is a shockingly modern thriller/mystery. This United Holdings Group edition is very good, with no typos or scan errors that I noticed. Worth the buck over the free version which is riddled with errors.
Sean_From_OHIO More than 1 year ago
What can I say? I'm terrible. I want to try to read classics. I really do. But then when it happens I drive myself nuts for an entire trying to get into them with no avail. Same here unfortunately. I can honestly say, I have no idea what this is about. It didn't help at all that my ebook had insane typographical errors that inserted random punctuality into the middle of any sentence or word. That being said, I'm just not an old soul, just an old guy I guess.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There were aspects of this book I really enjoyed. I love the Victorian, Jane Austenesque language of the book. The plot is also intricate and promising. But it was just too dang long to get where it was going. Somewhere along the way I read that this had been a serialized novel published in a paper. I could see that and I had the same problem with another book compiled from a serial. Also while the plot was good on its own merits, the way it gets tied up at the end is disappointing in terms of the characters involved. That being said, if you love the writing coming from this time period, you will find this book satisfying. If you love intrigue and mystery you will also find something satisfactory in this book. But, Wilkie, couldn't you have just gotten to the point quicker!
Bibliophile79 More than 1 year ago
Often lauded as the first true mystery novel, "The Woman in White" is as intriguing as it is original. The plot is carefully crafted and often surprising in its twists and turns. The characters are painstakingly crafted and beautifully developed (particularly Count Fosco) and, by the middle of the book, I found I was worrying over the fate of the hero and heroine in spite of myself. Admittedly, I found this novel slow to start, but once all of the characters were on the proverbial stage, things moved rather quickly. All in all, this novel is worth the read for avid mystery novel readers interested in how the mystery genre first became popular. Incidentally, Collins wrote some wonderful psychological/ghost thrillers, which I have recommended it below. Happy reading!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For fans of the Victorian mystery novel, this will not disappoint. Good reading. Kept me enthralled from start to finish. Also a window into the social mores and status of woman of the period.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was published in 1860. It has almost 600 pages. By today's standards it is a squeaky clean book. If I read correctly, it is one of the first paranormal mystery books published. Unfortunately, it did not transfer to e- book format very well and the antique, english style of narration almost drove me bonkers. I found this a very difficult and time consuming read. At least with a book of this age, I do not have to worry about hurting the author's feelings. For ages 16 and up, if they can stick with it. I could not. AD
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Unreadable. Very bad OCR.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great classic novel which starts with a mysterious woman in white, a young art teacher and two distinctly different sisters and then proceeds to envelope you in a twisted plot of murder, mistaken identities, arson and and secret brotherhood. It will definitely keep you guessing!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had never heard of Wilkie Collins before I read The Woman in White recommended to me by my wife though she had not read it either. It's an engrossing Victorian Novel with interesting characters ranging from an artistic narrator to a frail heiress. The writing is very good. I could summarize the first half of this long book in one sentence, yet lounging around in the language and the characters makes the experience worthwhile. This book is not for people who like quick reads!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
526 pages/numerous typos/however what a great story. Rated 5 w/o typos
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent suspence novel . The format was refreshingly different. Written in the first person as a journal. The characters were well developed and believable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a very unusual narrative treatment but very effective. The author keeps you guessing and trips you up when you think you've solved the mystery. I enjoyed this book more than most I have read lately.
maggie100 More than 1 year ago
Yes, it is very long and descriptive but it is oh, so worth it. if you take the time to read this book, you will be rewarded with a great mystery and wonderfully interesting characters. Additionally the insight into 19th century English life is terrific.
Exitsmiling More than 1 year ago
I'd forgotten how charming books from that time can be. I totally enjoyed it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I very much enjoyed this novel. I was intrigued from the beginning, and most of the time found it difficult to put the book down. The were parts that were completely unexpected taht kept me hooked reading. This book is a perefect blend of Victorian Romance and Mystery. Wonderful book and one of the best I have read in a while! Truly worth the time!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was hesitant to start reading the book thinking it would be a bore how wrong i was!!! It is an excellent story written in a peculiar but interesting format. Not only is the story riveting in itself the lifestyles, behaviors and customs of that age are an eye opener. I simply loved it and was sad to actually finish the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a really good read, its so unpredictable, and it keeps you guessing..However, SOME parts of it drag on and repeat themselves, and the reader MIGHT find themselves a little annoyed by the frequent changes in the narrator. But the storyline is really good, and its definitely an engaging story with tons of unexpected twists and turns
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books I've read in a long time, and possibly the best mystery / detective I've ever read. Exceptional crafting, very suspensful. It was the kind of book you race to see what happens and are disappointed when you get to the end and the pleasure is over.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Laura Fairly is the innocent, the young, sheltered, Victorian maiden who abides by her departed father's wishes. On his deathbed, he bids her to marry Sir Percival Glyde. Enter villainy. The grasping, frightened, short-tempered Sir Percival insists on a speedy wedding. He handily dispatches any obstacles thrown up in his path; he is damned and determined to wed Laura--and her fortune. But Laura has a sister, Marian, a strong-willed, independent, fiercely loyal sister who at first champions the marriage and then recoils once she realizes the true nature of Sir Percival. The man is a monster. And Marian will do anything to protect her sister. Heroism, and then some. There is also another, a drawing master named Walter Hartright, commissioned to teach Laura and Marian the fine art of watercolors. He falls in love with Laura, and she with him--before her marriage to Sir Percival. The drama should be obvious. But what of the title? Who is the Woman in White? Her chance meeting with Walter Hartright on the road to London provides the catalyst upon which the entire narrative turns. She is at once and both the key and the puzzle. She is a victim. She is a harbinger. She scares Sir Percival out of his wits. This book offers vivid portrayals of Victorian England, its mannerisms, its wardrobe, its inhibitions, its attitude. This book eerily reflects our own time, our own angst, in the 21st century. Once you read it, you'll know what I mean. Deception has no age. P.S. Whatever you do, don't turn your back on Count Fosco!
Guest More than 1 year ago
'The Woman in White' may not be as well-known as, say, 'Oliver Twist,' but I can tell you with certainty that it is much more entertaining. I read classic books all the time, but this is the first that has kept me riveted from beginning to end. Yes, it's a Victorian novel, but it isn't nearly so long-winded, plodding, or didactic as Dickens, so give it a chance. I stayed up late several nights just to read this book; I could hardly put it down! I highly recommend it, even to people who usually don't like the classics. You'll like it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a great classic! I really enjoyed this well written novel. the writing style was great and the plot riveting
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago