Collins, Wilkie

Collins, Wilkie

▪ British author
in full  William Wilkie Collins 
born Jan. 8, 1824, London, Eng.
died Sept. 23, 1889, London
 English sensation novelist, early master of the mystery story, and pioneer of detective fiction.

      The son of William Collins (1788–1847), the landscape painter, he developed a gift for inventing tales while still a schoolboy at a private boarding school. His first published work was a memoir to his father, who died in 1847, Memoirs of the Life of William Collins, Esq., R.A. (1848). His fiction followed shortly after: Antonina; or, the Fall of Rome (1850) and Basil (1852), a highly coloured tale of seduction and vengeance with a contemporary middle-class setting and passages of uncompromising realism. In 1851 he began an association with Dickens (Dickens, Charles) that exerted a formative influence on his career. Their admiration was mutual. Under Dickens' influence, Collins developed a talent for characterization, humour, and popular success, while the older writer's debt to Collins is evident in the more skillful and suspenseful plot structures of such novels as A Tale of Two Cities (1859) and Great Expectations (1860–61). Collins began contributing serials to Dickens' periodical Household Words, and his first major work, The Woman in White (1860), appeared in Dickens' All the Year Round. Among his most successful subsequent books were No Name (1862), Armadale (1866), and The Moonstone (1868). A master of intricate plot construction and ingenious narrative technique, Collins turned in his later career from sensation fiction to fiction with a purpose, attacking the marriage laws in Man and Wife (1870) and vivisection in Heart and Science (1883).

Additional Reading
Sue Lonoff, Wilkie Collins and His Victorian Readers (1982).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Wilkie Collins — William Wilkie Collins (8 January 1824 – 23 September 1889) was an English novelist, playwright, and author of short stories. He was very popular during the Victorian era and wrote 30 novels, more than 60 short stories, 14 plays, and over 100 non …   Wikipedia

  • Wilkie Collins — (1850) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Wilkie Collins — noun English writer noted for early detective novels (1824 1889) • Syn: ↑Collins, ↑William Wilkie Collins • Instance Hypernyms: ↑writer, ↑author * * * Wilkie Collins …   Useful english dictionary

  • Wilkie Collins — (Porträt von John Everett Millais, 1850) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • COLLINS (W. W.) — COLLINS WILLIAM WILKIE (1824 1889) Fils d’un peintre paysagiste de renom, William Wilkie Collins reçut une éducation privée, passa dix huit mois en Italie avec sa famille et, contre son gré, fit des études de droit dont profita la documentation… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Collins (Familienname) — Collins ist ein englischer Familienname. Herkunft und Bedeutung Der Name kann patronymischen Ursprungs sein („Sohn des Colin“) oder auf inselkeltische Namen zurückgehen. Bekannte Namensträger Inhaltsverzeichnis A B C D E F G H I J K …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Collins — Collins, 1) John Anthony, engl. Philosoph, geb. 1676 zu Hefton in Middlesex, gest. 1729, lernte zeitig Locke kennen, mit dem er bis zu dessen Tode in Briefwechsel stand. Er gehörte zu den englischen Freidenkern und Deïsten und suchte zu beweisen …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Collins, (William)Wilkie — Collins, (William) Wilkie. 1824 1889. British writer noted for his pioneering detective novels, including The Woman in White (1860) and The Moonstone (1868). * * * …   Universalium

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