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Old 03-10-2014, 09:16 PM   #1
AlexBell
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Collins, Wilkie: No Name (Illustrated) v1 11 March 2014

Wilkie Collins lived in London from 1824 to 1889, a period in which ‘the inevitable self-assertion of wealth, so amiably deplored by the prosperous and the rich; [was] so bitterly familiar to the unfortunate and the poor.’

He was short, plump, and short sighted; a traveller, bon vivant, journalist, satirist, essayist, novelist, dramatist, and social activist despite his severe suffering from recurrent gout. He became addicted to laudanum, and several of his characters praise it.

One of his characters says ‘… isn’t it the original intention or purpose … of a work of fiction, to set out distinctly by telling a story? … What I want is something that seizes hold of my interest … something that keeps me reading, reading, reading, in a breathless state to find out the end.’

No Name was published soon after The Woman in White, and was very popular at the time. It has a preposterous convoluted plot about an illegitimate young woman, her father’s favourite, who loses her inheritance after her parents die, and her illegal and deceitful efforts to regain it. She is eventually saved by a man who is twenty-one years older and fell in love with her at first sight a year before. The book contains both hilarious and moving parts, and despite the preposterous plot keeps one reading – if only to find out how it ends.

As in many of his other books Wilkie Collins has used a rather idiosyncratic format, with eight “Scenes” set in different places and containing two to fifteen chapters. There are “Between the Scenes” sections consisting of letters or diary entries which give the characters a place to speak in the first person and express their own perceptions and attitudes.

The source text was Project Gutenberg 1438-h.htm. I have corrected typos, curled quotes, and modernised punctuation, spelling, and hyphenation using oxforddictionaries.com.

There is already a prc version of No Name in the MR Library by Patricia Clark. I hope this version will find a place - it is illustrated, and contains mobi and azw3 versions.

As always please let me know of any errors.
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