Fun Facts Friday: Wilkie Collins

January 8, 2016

Wilkie Collins (8 January, 1824 – 23 September, 1889) was a popular English author best known for The Woman in White and The Moonstone. Mr. Collins is credited with writing novels full of intrigue and mystery, forerunners to today’s popular detective novels.

Fun Facts Friday: Wilkie Collins
Sarony, Napoleon (1821-1896) – Wilkie Collins (1824-1889) in 1874 2” by Napoleon Sarony
Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.

Books by Wilkie Collins*

  1. Collins’ father was a successful painter.
  2. He was apprenticed to a tea importer but did not like the business.
  3. In 1851 Mr. Collins met author Charles Dickens, the two became close friends. Dickens published Collins’ books and Collin’s brother married Dickens’ daughter.
  4. Even though the two authors wrote to each other a lot, Dickens burned all of his correspondence, only three letters from Collins to Dickens survived.
  5. When The Woman in White (1860) was released, it was an immediate sensation. The story was first released as a serial in a magazine and the mystery was debated much in society functions.
  6. The Moonstone (1868) is considered the author’s greatest achievement and even today is considered a standard for detective novels. His friend, Dickens, didn’t like the novel though.
  7. Collins wrote melodramas which were popular at their time, but today are largely forgotten.
  8. Even though he never married, Mr. Collins lived with a widow and her daughter for almost three decades.
  9. During his lifetime and at the height of his career, Mr. Collins was the highest paid writer in Victorian England.
  10. Collins was a functional drug addict. He took opium to relieve him from gout.

Books by Wilkie Collins*

Zohar – Man of La Book
*Ama­zon links point to an affiliate account

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