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The Wilkie Collins Circle

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Drood by Dan Simmons [08 Mar 2009|08:09pm]


Is this book worth reading? It caught my eye because it's narrated by Wilkie Collins, but I'm not sure I want to read 800 pages narrated by a version of Collins created by an author who thinks: "Right now, to be honest, Wilkie Collins is what he deserved to be back then: a footnote, an almost lost memory" (from http://www.avclub.com/articles/dan-simmons,24253/). It sounds like Simmons has revived the memory of Collins primarily as a spiteful, sodden druggie, jealous of Dickens's superior talent and out of touch with reality. I guess the problem is that I'm out of touch with reality, too, because I vastly prefer Collins to Dickens. So maybe this book is good, and maybe the depiction of Collins is accurate, but does it translate into something worth reading for those of us who live in skewered realities?
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From a letter of Wilkie Collins's [05 Feb 2009|06:11am]

"The hybrid and Mary don’t agree. I am sorry to lose the hybrid. She sees me into the water-closet and out of it regularly – and tries the door every time I make water. I have reason to believe that the hybrid must have seen My Person!"

-- from a letter to Charles Ward, 14 August 1860

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Robert Graves died of consumption today in 1852 [30 Jan 2009|11:02am]




Yeah, I know. And it's not even like George Robert Graves wrote anything. But here's the connection: Robert Graves was Caroline Graves's first husband (and again, I can hear you: "Now who?" Stay with the story), and Caroline Graves was Wilkie Collins's (ahhhhh, now you get it) first...untraditional lady friend.

Read more...Collapse )
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In which the author requests the pleasure of your company [04 Jan 2009|08:53pm]

Hey, 'member that resolution you made, after "lose weight" and "learn Esperanto"? The one about attending more lectures about Victorian literature? Yeah, that one.

Have I got a talk for you.

I'll be giving a free-and-open-to-the-public lecture on the nineteenth century novel at the Bethesda Library (7400 Arlington Road, Bethesda MD) at 7:00 p.m. on January 7. You should totally come because (a) who doesn't want to hear about "Jane Eyre" or Mudie's library? And (b) there'll be cookies, I think. At least, I hope. Because actually, the more I write about this, the less I feel that I'm going to be the main draw and I need these cookies as my safety.

Anyway -- for more info, email me: mbevel2002 at yahoo dot com.

(Copies of the text of the lecture will be available on my blog or by request after 1/7.)
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Bethesda, Maryland: Nineteenth Century Literature Discussion Group [05 Dec 2008|09:43am]

Join the best group of readers on the Eastern Seaboard (a claim we're willing to back up with a read-off -- just name the time and place) in 2009 as we read and discuss through some of the greatest hits (and greatest unknowns) of the nineteenth century:

The Monk by Matthew "Monk" Lewis -- January 27, 7:00 p.m.
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins -- February 17, 7:00 p.m.
Lady Audley's Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon -- March 17, 7:00 p.m.
East Lynne by Mrs Henry Wood -- April 14, 7:00 p.m.
North & South by Elizabeth Gaskell -- May 19, 7:00 p.m.
Villette by Charlotte Bronte -- June 16, 7:00 p.m.
The Maias by Eca de Queiros -- July 21, 7:00 p.m.
The Kreutzer Sonata by Leo Tolstoy -- August 18, 7:00 p.m.
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert -- September 15, 7:00 p.m.
The Odd Women by George Gissing -- October 20, 7:00 p.m.
Dracula by Bram Stoker -- November 17, 7:00 p.m.
A Man of Property by John Gallsworthy -- December 15, 7:00 p.m.

The group meets at the Bethesda Library (7400 Arlington Rd, Bethesda, MD 20814) on the third Tuesday of every month (except in January of 2009; we'll meet a week later) from 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. The group is absolutely free and open to the public.

For more information, or to be included in the mailing list, leave a comment or email me: mbevel2002 at yahoo dot com.
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Heart & Science [08 Aug 2008|08:48am]

 I've posted my thoughts on Heart & Science at my journal: http://britadventuress.livejournal.com/41615.html.

I'm hoping to post, later today, concerning Man & Wife.

It appears that it's not Wilkie Collins that I like so much: it's ampersands.
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No Name [13 Jan 2008|07:36pm]

Well, I just finished the book, No Name, which I ended up buying. There's just something more intimate about reading a book than reading from the computer. I did read enough on Mousehold Words to know that I liked it, though. It was quite long, and I read it on and off. The ending was well worth the wait!
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Free e-mail subscription service [29 Sep 2006|10:54pm]

I would like to make you all aware of Mousehold Words, a free subscription service that offers many Victorian authors including Wilkie Collins.  At the moment I'm enjoying a read of  No Name.  They also have  A Rogue's Life, The Woman in White, Armadale, The Black Robe, and The Evil Genius.  I like it because I can read them and choose which ones I want to buy later!

Here is the link: http://www.mouseholdwords.com/index.html
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Greetings All [10 Sep 2006|09:45am]

My interest in Wilkie Collins came about for a couple of reasons. My boss kept suggesting I see the movie, The Woman In White, and being a die-hard horror/thriller/mystery lover, I wanted very much to oblige her. Being unable to find the movie in my local video rental and decided to just read the book instead.

Needless to say, I was thrilled by what I found. I moved on to The Dead Secret, No Name, The Haunted Hotel and The Moonstone, all of which I was equally delighted with! I hope to complete my collection very soon.

My other reason for getting interested in Collins was the simple fact it is Victorian era literature and lends itself well to some of the research I was doing at the time. As a reenactor of the American Civil War, I am always curious as to what the "average person" was thinking, reading, doing and living at the time. And I have always been fascinated with the entire Victorian Era since my old high school days. Collins has kinda wrapped my love of all things Victoria and my need to be frightened into a series of fascinating bundles of literature. And, of course, so does the American writer, Edgar Allen Poe - though I've read more Collins than I have Poe!

I look forward to being part of this community and hope to make some interesting friends as a member.
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Newbie Post [26 Aug 2006|12:00am]

I'm new here and fairly new to WIlkie Collins as well. I have a BA in English Lit and I concentrated heavily on the Victorian Era in my studies but I only came to discover Collins through a course on Victorian Detectives the second semester of my senior year. We read The Moonstone and I was immediately intrigued. I read The Woman in White that summer, saw the musical (which I found enjoyable but hardly faithful!). At the moment No Name is in my (huge) pile of Books-To-Be -Read, and I hope to get to it soon. Is it good? Any other Collins recommendations?
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Greetings.. [06 Aug 2006|05:17pm]

I have been browsing LiveJournal for some new and interesting communities and I was pleasantly surprised to find this one! My name's Keri, I'm a 26 year old woman residing in Bristol, UK. I have a real love of Victoriana and adore a great deal of nineteenth century literature, but it has to be said, Wilkie Collins is my favourite author. The way he handles complex and often lengthy plot development, his strong, unorthodox female characters and his robust, yet subtle critiques of society...they all conspire to amuse and intrigue me. Armadale is my favourite novel of his, and if I may make bold, I wrote a little something on the profane Miss Gwilt, which some of you may enjoy. I look forward to speaking to you, and best wishes for now!

The Devil take Miss Gwilt!Collapse )
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[27 Apr 2006|10:04pm]

Hey all, just a quick hello, name's Mark and I'm a final year BAhons english and american lit student, looking to commence studying for a Master's Degree in Gothic Literature this September. First came across mr collins, and specifically the woman in white, as part of my final year undergraduate studies pursuing the gothic novel past the romantic and into the victorian and beyond. An extra curricular reading of the moonstone heightened my interest and I'm currently in the midst of being fascinated by Armadale's masterful reappropriation of the gothic.

Not much to say and I rarely post much to the communities I join.... being something of a lazy bugger, greetings nevertheless :-)
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Woman In White- ALW style [18 Apr 2006|07:54pm]

[ mood | content ]

Hello, I'm new here. When my town's most beloved bookstore went out of buisness last year, all the books were at least 50% off. In my splurge, I purchaced The Woman in White and The Moonstone, the former of which I've completed thus far.

Was anyone here able to see the Andrew Lloyd Webber version or listened to the soundtrack? It's incredibly different from the book at times, but nonetheless worth listening to. Just be sure it isn't storming outside or dark in the room.

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Happy Birthday to us...! [17 Feb 2006|08:00pm]

[ mood | happy ]

Dear all,

I just noticed that one year ago today this lovely group was founded. I'd like to thank toriem for moderating such a great group.

wilkiecollins was the first group I joined as a new LJ member and everyone here made me feel so welcome. We may not be the most talkative bunch, but I think we're great.

Best wishes to all,

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Masterpiece Theatre's "The Woman in White" [14 Feb 2006|11:39pm]

[ mood | anxious ]

I need a little advice from more experienced Collins fans than I.

Due to company policy, I received some gift certificates in lieu of overtime pay. Since I noticed that my book store had an adaptation of The Woman in White in stock, I decided to splurge.

Before I rip the cellophane off the DVD, I would like to know I did not waste my money.

It is the Masterpiece Theatre adaptation, starring Tara Fitzgerald as Marian, Justine Waddell as Laura, and Simon Callow as Fosco.

Any thoughts? Should I rip it open and watch with all due haste? Or sheepishly return it from whence it came?


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New here... [10 Jan 2006|01:20am]

Hi, it's been quite some time since anyone has posted here! I have joined the community, and have been a Wilkie Collins reader since...well, can't remember when! I have read his book, The Woman in White twice - first quite a few years ago, and I finished reading it the second time last summer. I do have this novel and also The Moonstone, which I saw the BBC adaptation a few years ago and enjoyed. However, I haven't read The Moonstone yet.

I just found this journal, and was delighted and surprised to come across it! Hopefully, someone will post again soon! Feel free to add me to your list of Friends, if you feel we are compatible.

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My review of The Moonstone [05 Apr 2005|11:44pm]

Hello everyone,

I finished reading The Moonstone earlier tonight. Thank you so much, those of you here that recommended it to me. I've posted a review in my journal, which all are welcome to read.

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My thoughts on No Name [28 Mar 2005|08:13am]

[ mood | busy ]

Book Review: No Name by Wilkie Collins
Rating: 4 1/2 stars (out of 5 stars)

No Name is the story and portrait of Magdalen Vanstone... or as Wilkie introduces his novel in the preface, "Here is one more book that depicts the struggle of a human creature, under those opposing influences of Good and Evil, which we have all felt, which we have all known." It's a fairly accurate description as throughout the course of the story, we see the evolution of the character of our heroine; we see her heading down a shady path, but yet somehow from a 21st century perspective, Magdalen manages to make it seem not so immoral. Often times I see her trying to act as morally as she can in the unmoral situations she chooses to involve herself in. Part of No Name's strength, arises from the deftness in which Collins creates Magdalen. She posseses such an enormous range in character and emotion that if No Name were ever to be made into a movie, actresses would vie to have her role.

When Magdalen and her sister's inheritance...Collapse )

crossposted to heteroglossia

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Introduction [14 Mar 2005|04:37pm]

A new member here - just dropped in to say hi. :) Wilkie Collins has been a favourite of mine for a few years now, it was a pleasant surprise to discover a whole LJ community devoted to him! Hopefully, I'll be able to make some semi-intelligent contribution about his writings in the near future; but, for the mean time...

My introduction.Collapse )
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