Basil by Wilkie Collins

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See Reader Rating


Wilkie Collins (1824-1889) is best known as the innovator of the English detective novel, whose sensational novels, plays, and short stories were hugely popular in the Victorian Era. Today, readers enjoy Collins' intricate and suspenseful plots, and his penetrating social commentary on the plight of women and domestic issues of the time. Unfortunately Collins suffered from rheumatic gout, for which he took the opiate laudanum, and which eventually led to paranoid delusions and the deterioration of his health. Basil was Collins' second novel, published in 1852, and touches on themes frequently found in Collins' work: marriage between differing social classes, betrayal, revenge and insanity. "Basil", a man of high station, falls in love with Margaret Sherwin, the daughter of a linen draper, and the year following their secret marriage is fraught with dramatic conflict. This psychologically penetrating story of love and loss is recognized today as one of, if not the, first sensation novels of the nineteenth century.


About Wilkie Collins

See more books from this Author
Born in London, the son of artist William Collins, Wilkie Collins was educated at Highbury and spent four years in Italy with his parents. Upon his return to England, he worked first in business and then law, but eventually turned to literature. Collins created the crime novel of intricate plot and baffling mystery. The Woman in White (1860) was his first success, followed in 1863 by his masterpiece The Moonstone. Both novels demonstrate Collins' fascination with psychological portraiture and sensationalistic complication. Other books include The Haunted Hotel (1875), Antonia (1850), and Heart and Science (1883). Collins was a close friend of Charles Dickens and collaborated with him. His mastery of plot influenced Dickens, and he was influenced by Dickens's mastery of character.
Published April 3, 2004 by 205 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History, Romance, Education & Reference, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Religion & Spirituality, Biographies & Memoirs, Crime. Non-fiction

Reader Rating for Basil

An aggregated and normalized score based on 17 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review