Blind Love

Blind Love

by Wilkie Collins

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Blind Love is Wilkie Collin's final novel. Although he did not live to complete the work, he left detailed plans for the last third of this novel which were faithfully executed by his colleague, the popular author Sir 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 acconts 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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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781609774653
Publisher: Start Classics
Publication date: 03/21/2014
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 276
File size: 572 KB

About the Author

Wilkie Collins (1824-1889) was an English novelist and playwright. Born in London, Collins was raised in England, Italy, and France by William Collins, a renowned landscape painter, and his wife Harriet Geddes. After working for a short time as a tea merchant, he published Antonina (1850), his literary debut. He quickly became known as a leading author of sensation novels, a popular genre now recognized as a forerunner to detective fiction. Encouraged on by the success of his early work, Collins made a name for himself on the London literary scene. He soon befriended Charles Dickens, forming a strong bond grounded in friendship and mentorship that would last several decades. His novels The Woman in White (1859) and The Moonstone (1868) are considered pioneering examples of mystery and detective fiction, and enabled Collins to become financially secure. Toward the end of the 1860s, at the height of his career, Collins began to suffer from numerous illnesses, including gout and opium addiction, which contributed to his decline as a writer. Beyond his literary work, Collins is seen as an early advocate for marriage reform, criticizing the institution and living a radically open romantic lifestyle.

Walter Besant (1836–1901) was born in Portsmouth, Hampshire and studied at King's College, London. He would later work in higher education at Royal College, Mauritius, where he taught mathematics. During this time, Besant also began his extensive writing career. In 1868 he published Studies in Early French Poetry followed by a fruitful collaboration with James Rice, which produced Ready-money Mortiboy (1872), and The Golden Butterfly(1876). Besant’s career spanned genres and mediums including fiction, non-fiction, plays and various collections.

Date of Birth:

December 8, 1824

Date of Death:

September 23, 1889

Place of Birth:

London, England

Place of Death:

London, England


Studied law at Lincoln¿s Inn, London

Table of Contents


  • 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

Customer Reviews