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The Moonstone

Intrigue, investigations, thievery, drugs and murder all make an appearance in Collins’s classic who-done-it, The Moonstone. Published in serial form in 1868, it was inspired in part by a spectacular murder case widely reported in the early 1860s. Collins’s story revolves around a diamond stolen from a Hindu holy place. On her eighteenth birthday, Rachel…

The Story of a Modern Woman

Ella Hepworth Dixon’s The Story of a Modern Woman originally appeared in serial form in the women’s weekly The Lady’s Pictorial. Like Hepworth Dixon herself, the novel’s heroine Mary Erle is a woman writer struggling to make her living as a journalist in the 1880s. Forced by her father’s sudden death to support herself, Mary…

Heart and Science

Wilkie Collins’s later novels are often as concerned with social issues as they are with simple storytelling—but as more and more critics are suggesting, the best of them are as readable and thought-provoking today as they were when they first appeared. Of none is this more true than of his 1883 novel Heart and Science,…