Man and Wife by Wilkie Collins
(Oxford World's Classics)

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The only edition in print, Man and Wife combines the fast pace and sensational plot of Collins's most famous novels with a biting attack on the inequitable marriage laws in Victorian Britain. - ;`This time the fiction is founded upon facts' stated Wilkie Collins in his Preface to Man and Wife (1870). Many Victorian writers responded to contemporary debates on the rights and the legal status of women, and here Collins questions the deeply inequitable marriage laws of his day.

Man and Wife examines the plight of a woman who, promised marriage by one man, comes to believe that she may inadvertently have gone through a form of marriage with his friend, as recognized by the archaic laws of Scotland and Ireland. From this starting-point Collins develops a radical critique of the values and conventions of Victorian society.

Collins had already developed a reputation as the master of the `sensation novel', and Man and Wife is as fast moving and unpredictable as The Moonstone and The Woman in White. During the novel the atmosphere grows increasingly sinister as the setting moves from a country house to a London suburb and a world of confinement, plotting, and murder. -

About Wilkie Collins

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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 March 9, 1995 by Oxford University Press, UK. 689 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Horror, History, Romance. Non-fiction

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