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Old 12-16-2007, 08:05 PM   #1
Patricia
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Collins, Wilkie: The Evil Genius, v.1, 17 Dec 2007.

The Evil Genius: A Domestic Story.

Excerpts from Wilkie Collins - An Illustrated Guide by Andrew Gasson

Novel by Wilkie Collins published in 1886, dedicated to William Holman Hunt, treating the related themes of divorce and child-custody. The story was ahead of its time in presenting both the wife and the mistress of an adulterous husband in a sympathetic light and concentrating the reader's attention on the plight of the child involved in the break-up of a marriage. The 'evil genius' of the title is an interfering mother-in-law. Collins unexpectedly upholds double standards in a passage added shortly before publication, claiming that a husband's adultery should not, by itself, be sufficient grounds for divorce, and ends the novel with a reconciliation and remarriage. Collins also used the plot for a dramatic version with the same title. He wrote the book and play simultaneously and traces of his method can be detected in the novel which has an unusually high proportion of dialogue. The play, tauter and in some ways more effective than the book, was never performed, though it was given a single reading for the purpose of establishing dramatic copyright.
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