The Woman in White

The Woman in White


(24 Reviews)
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins









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The Woman in White


(24 Reviews)
The Woman in White is widely regarded as the first in the genre of 'sensation novels'. It follows the story of two sisters living in Victorian England with their selfish, uninterested uncle as their guardian. Marian Halcombe is the elder of the two sisters, and a remarkably ugly woman, but with courage, strength and resourcefulness in abundance. The younger, her beautiful half-sister Laura Fairlie, is engaged to a rich man by the name of Sir Percival Glyde.

Book Excerpt

his hand, the golden Papa has a letter; and after he has made his excuse for disturbing us in our Infernal Region with the common mortal Business of the house, he addresses himself to the three young Misses, and begins, as you English begin everything in this blessed world that you have to say, with a great O. 'O, my dears,' says the mighty merchant, 'I have got here a letter from my friend, Mr.----'(the name has slipped out of my mind; but no matter; we shall come back to that; yes, yes--right-all-right). So the Papa says, 'I have got a letter from my friend, the Mister; and he wants a recommend from me, of a drawing-master, to go down to his house in the country.' My-soul-bless-my-soul! when I heard the golden Papa say those words, if I had been big enough to reach up to him, I should have put my arms round his neck, and pressed him to my bosom in a long and grateful hug! As it was, I only bounced upon my chair. My seat was on thorns, and my soul was on fire to speak but I held my tongue, and let Papa go...


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Readers reviews

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Most entries are quite interesting but some characters are not familiar to me when it comes to Brits during that period of time.
I thought the Woman in white was ghost hahaha but it's not.
The mystery is acceptable and the inequality and restricted freedoms of a woman back in the day are interesting, but dear God the pace is soooo slow. Marian's entries are interesting but I can't stand most of the others
Excellent prose not withstanding, the book was infinitely longer than it needed to be, with some parts staggeringly boring. Collins also attempts to subvert our imagination by being overly descriptive about the most mundane subjects, yet becoming very vague with others. Add to that the convolution of what was already an uninteresting plot, and you have the makings of, at best, a mediocre story. My understanding is that this story was serialized at the time of its release. That may have altered my perception of the overall story.

As for some of the characters-I'm not that familiar with the customs of the Brits during that time period, but the first part of the book seemed to have an undercurrent of lesbianism between Marian and Laura. Maybe it was customary of loving sisters at the time, but their touchy, feely, lip-locky behavior would likely be seen differently today. Not making any criticisms on that front; it was probably all that Collins could get away with in 1850. It also seemed that Laura was perhaps as feeble minded as Anne, just less noticeable, given her very different upbringing. Ultimately, she knew she had to marry a man though, as society required, but Marian would always be there-always.

One last thing: Did Walt ever go back to court on that assault thing? Again, such a convoluted story maybe I missed that.
Well I wish I had read the works of Wilkie Collins sooner, but now I have discovered him and am very glad. The Woman in White is just superb from start to finish and since I love 'period' books - well there you are then. A ghost, but not a ghost, love stories, plotting relatives - it is all there. Beautifully woven. Wilkie Collins is an excellent writer. My heartfelt thanks to "Many Books".
it gets inside of feel it for real !!!!
and that\'s why i just luv it!
the thing that we don\'t expect is exactly what we need to have new visions of the life and that what this novel if full of.
Excellent. Fascinating characters, intricate plot. Be prepared to focus and pay attention to detail, your efforts will be rewarded.
Lest someone intending to read this book is discouraged by the mixed nature of the reviews, let me state categorically - this is an enthralling and unputdownable Gothic mystery. It stands up to, and indeed surpasses, the profusion of thrillers and mystery novels of our time. To whatever extent it appears dated, it is only because of the social milieu of 150 years ago (which provides the reader with a fascinating window into that time), but the motivations and actions of the characters remain as compelling and realistic as if they were set in the 21st century.

From the very first chapter the reader is drawn into a web of intrigue, mystery and fear which doesn't let up till the denouement. The twists and turns create real tension and it is difficult to finish a chapter without wanting to press on to the next - quite an achievement for a novel of this length.

The reviewer who is complaining about the story presenting an inadequate feminist statement has obviously not paid attention to the character Marian Holcombe (the heroine's friend and alter ego). The nominal heroine Laura Fairlie IS relatively colourless, which is how she's been consciously portrayed by the author for good plot-related reasons, but that says nothing about the author's own feminist beliefs or non-beliefs. (Read Wilkie Collins' other novels No Name and Armadale if you are looking for strong female protagonists). In The Woman in White, you need to look out for that unforgettable character, Count Fosco.

A book not to be missed, even by those who are ambivalent towards the classics.
Long Mystery Novel. Be prepared to for it. I didn't stop reading the book though. Annoyed at some of the characters at first but I was glad I stuck to the end. Looking back not bad, and actually pretty good.
Marcus, you are out of luck; I am a seventeen-year-old girl who just loves this book. I am also very educated and have read extensively. Very lengthy, in-depth review though, sorry you didn't like it. :D