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The Dead Secret
     

The Dead Secret

3.6 16
by Wilkie Collins, Ira B. Nadel (Editor)
 

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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,

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:
9780192838414
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
05/28/1999
Series:
Oxford World's Classics Series
Pages:
416
Product dimensions:
7.70(w) x 4.90(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

English novelist William Wilkie Collins (1824 - 1889) was an author, playwright, and short story writer. His best-known works are The Woman in White (1859), No Name (1862), Armadale (1866) and The Moonstone (1868). The last is considered the first modern English detective novel.

Born in London, he lived with his family in Italy and France as a child and learned French and Italian. He worked as a clerk for a tea merchant. After his first novel, Antonina, was published in 1850, he met Charles Dickens, who became a close friend, mentor and collaborator. Some of Collins's works were first published in Dickens' journals All the Year Round and Household Words.

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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The Dead Secret 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another work of art by Wilkie Collins. The more I read of his work the less I understand how unknown he and most of his works are. There is a romantic sensativity in all of his work, usually combined perfectly with suspense and mystery. You can't go wrong with his work, I highly recomend this and all of Collins' books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Another great by the master Wilkie. Intriguing plot that could easily fit with contemporary times. Great characters, lots of suspense and a real page-turner. My 2nd favorite Wilkie book after The Moonstone. Thought this was better than The Woman in White. A must for any mystery, Victorian, or Wilkie fan.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Unrecomended highly
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great mystery thriller!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found myself skipping through the pages to pick up where there was actual dialog. This author spends ALOT of words on meandering unimportant things. Interesting story but in gets lost in the blah blah blah
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pulled from google digitization. Works terribly on eink based book readers
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really hope it's good. Emily