The Woman in White is a sensational mystery narrated by draughtsman and artist Walter Hartwright and various other characters within the tale whose accounts are coloured by their distinctive points of view. It was published in 1860 as a serialisation in Dicken's magazine All the Year Round, and in Harper's Weekly with illustrations, and as a three volume book. A New Edition in 1861 corrected some chronological errors, and there have been many later editions.
The story begins with Walter's late night meeting of a woman dressed in white who he rescues from a group of pursuers. Walter goes to work in the service of the selfish and unpleasant Mr Fairlie as a drawing instructor and in doing so meets his niece Laura who strongly resembles the mysterious woman in white. Walter falls in love with Laura, but though Laura does love Walter she is engaged to Sir Percival Glyde. Deceit, love and various unmaskings follow which explain Anne Catherick's strange confinement within an asylum, her death, and Laura's substitution for her in the asylum and Laura's rescue by Marian. The struggle to vindicate her, tense adventures, and retribution follow.
The Woman in White is by far the biggest and most complex ebook I have so far attempted, and is the first with illustrations.
Some of the 'chapters' in the ebook are well over 300Kb, and so have been split with only the second part having a page turn. Some of the paragraphs go on for several pages, and so have caused some problems with pagination.
The narrative and 'chapter' structure is quite complex, and there have been several slightly different editions. I have not attempted to make this ebook a facsimile of any version, and have used my best judgment to make the story flow. And in the words of the Penguin Classics version I have 'silently corrected any obvious mistakes'.
Because the structure is so complex I have provided a listing of the sections, but have provided only links to the major subsections.
One of the first versions was published as a 40 part serial in Harper's Weekly, and most of those parts had two engraved illustrations by John McLenan of differing sizes and aspect ratios. I have chosen one illustration from each part set up so that it occupies about half the width of the screen. The graphics were taken with permission from Paul Lewis' marvellous site at www.paullewis.co.uk/
As always I would be very grateful for feedback. I would like to know especially:
- Do you miss not having a more detailed Table of Contents, with links to each of the chapters?
- Do the illustrations work on your ebook reader - especially those with 5" or smaller screens?
- Do the subdivisions of the 'chapters' make sense, and does the story flow?
- Have you found any capitalised words which should be in italics, or any hanging double quotes?
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