Oxford University Press UK

  • Valeria Woodville's first act as a married woman is to sign her name in the marriage register incorrectly, and this slip is followed by the gradual disclosure of a series of secrets about her husband's earlier life, each of which leads on to another set of questions and enigmas. Her discoveries prompt her to defy her husband's authority, to take the law into into a labyrinthine maze of false clues and deceptive identities, in which the exploration of the tangled workings of the mind becomes linked to an investigation into the masquerades of femininity.

    Probably the first full-length novel with a woman detective as its heroine, The Law and the Lady is a fascinating example of Collins's later fiction. First published in 1875, it employs many of the techniques used in The Moonstone, developing them in bizarre and unexpected ways, and in its Gothic and fantastic elements The Law and the Lady adds a significant dimension to the history of detective fiction. - ;Valeria Woodville's first act as a married woman is to sign her name in the marriage register incorrectly, and this slip is followed by the gradual disclosure of a series of secrets about her husband's earlier life, each of which leads on to another set of questions and enigmas. Her discoveries prompt her to defy her husband's authority, to take the law into into a labyrinthine maze of false clues and deceptive identities, in which the exploration of the tangled workings of the mind becomes linked to an investigation into the masquerades of femininity.

    Probably the first full-length novel with a woman detective as its heroine, The Law and the Lady is a fascinating example of Collins's later fiction. First published in 1875, it employs many of the techniques used in The Moonstone, developing them in bizarre and unexpected ways, and in its Gothic and fantastic elements The Law and the Lady adds a significant dimension to the history of detective fiction. - ;Introduction; Note on the text; Select bibliography; A chronology of Wilkie Collins; The Law and the Lady; Explanatory notes -

  • The only edition in print, Man and Wife combines the fast pace and sensational plot of Collins's most famous novels with a biting attack on the inequitable marriage laws in Victorian Britain. - ;`This time the fiction is founded upon facts' stated Wilkie Collins in his Preface to Man and Wife (1870). Many Victorian writers responded to contemporary debates on the rights and the legal status of women, and here Collins questions the deeply inequitable marriage laws of his day.

    Man and Wife examines the plight of a woman who, promised marriage by one man, comes to believe that she may inadvertently have gone through a form of marriage with his friend, as recognized by the archaic laws of Scotland and Ireland. From this starting-point Collins develops a radical critique of the values and conventions of Victorian society.

    Collins had already developed a reputation as the master of the `sensation novel', and Man and Wife is as fast moving and unpredictable as The Moonstone and The Woman in White. During the novel the atmosphere grows increasingly sinister as the setting moves from a country house to a London suburb and a world of confinement, plotting, and murder. -

  • Armadale tells the devastating story of the independent, murderous, and adulterous Lydia Gwilt. This traditional melodrama also considers the modern theme of the role of women in society. - ;Armadale tells the devastating story of the independent, murderous, and adulterous Lydia Gwilt. This traditional melodrama also considers the modern theme of the role of women in society. -

  • Valeria Woodville's first act as a married woman is to sign her name in the marriage register incorrectly, and this slip is followed by the gradual disclosure of a series of secrets about her husband's earlier life, each of which leads on to another set of questions and enigmas. Her discoveries prompt her to defy her husband's authority, to take the law into into a labyrinthine maze of false clues and deceptive identities, in which the exploration of the tangled workings of the mind becomes linked to an investigation into the masquerades of femininity.

    Probably the first full-length novel with a woman detective as its heroine, The Law and the Lady is a fascinating example of Collins's later fiction. First published in 1875, it employs many of the techniques used in The Moonstone, developing them in bizarre and unexpected ways, and in its Gothic and fantastic elements The Law and the Lady adds a significant dimension to the history of detective fiction. - ;Valeria Woodville's first act as a married woman is to sign her name in the marriage register incorrectly, and this slip is followed by the gradual disclosure of a series of secrets about her husband's earlier life, each of which leads on to another set of questions and enigmas. Her discoveries prompt her to defy her husband's authority, to take the law into into a labyrinthine maze of false clues and deceptive identities, in which the exploration of the tangled workings of the mind becomes linked to an investigation into the masquerades of femininity.

    Probably the first full-length novel with a woman detective as its heroine, The Law and the Lady is a fascinating example of Collins's later fiction. First published in 1875, it employs many of the techniques used in The Moonstone, developing them in bizarre and unexpected ways, and in its Gothic and fantastic elements The Law and the Lady adds a significant dimension to the history of detective fiction. - ;Introduction; Note on the text; Select bibliography; A chronology of Wilkie Collins; The Law and the Lady; Explanatory notes -

  • "The Moonstone is a page-turner," writes Carolyn Heilbrun. "It catches one up and unfolds its amazing story through the recountings of its several narrators, all of them enticing and singular." Wilkie Collins's spellbinding tale of romance, theft, and murder inspired a hugely popular genre-the detective mystery. Hinging on the theft of an enormous diamond originally stolen from an Indian shrine, this riveting novel features the innovative Sergeant Cuff, the hilarious house steward Gabriel Betteridge, a lovesick housemaid, and a mysterious band of Indian jugglers.
    This Modern Library Paperback Classic is set from the definitive 1871 edition.
    From the Trade Paperback edition.

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