A gripping short biography of the extraordinary Wilkie Collins, author of The Moonstone and The Woman in White, two early masterpieces of mystery and detection. Short and oddly built, with a head too big for his body, extremely nearsighted, unable to stay still, dressed in colorful clothes, Wilkie Collins looked..
distinctly strange. But he was nonetheless a charmer, befriended by the great, loved by children, irresistibly attractive to women--and avidly read by generations of readers.
Peter Ackroyd follows his hero, "the sweetest-tempered of all the Victorian novelists," from Collins' childhood as the son of a well-known artist to his struggling beginnings as a writer, his years of fame, and his lifelong friendship with that other great London chronicler, Charles Dickens.
In addition to his enduring masterpieces, The Moonstone--often called the first true detective novel--and the sensational The Woman in White, he produced an intriguing array of lesser known works.
Told with Ackroyd's inimitable verve, this is a ravishingly entertaining life of a great storyteller, full of surprises, rich in humor and sympathetic understanding.