Books from the Backlog is a fun way to feature some of those neglected books sitting on your bookshelf or e-reader unread. If you would like to join in, please feel free to enter your link at Carole’s Random Life, then spend some time visiting some of the other posts.
This week's neglected book:
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
Hardcover, 609 pages
Published October 15th, 1991 by Everyman's Library
(first published November 26th, 1859)
Wilkie Collins's classic thriller took the world by storm on its first appearance in 1859, with everything from dances to perfumes to dresses named in honor of the "woman in white." The novel's continuing fascination stems in part from a distinctive blend of melodrama, comedy, and realism; and in part from the power of its story.
The catalyst for the mystery is Walter Hartright's encounter on a moonlit road with a mysterious woman dressed head to toe in white. She is in a state of confusion and distress, and when Hartright helps her find her way back to London she warns him against an unnamed "man of rank and title." Hartright soon learns that she may have escaped from an asylum and finds to his amazement that her story may be connected to that of the woman he secretly loves. Collins brilliantly uses the device of multiple narrators to weave a story in which no one can be trusted, and he also famously creates, in the figure of Count Fosco, the prototype of the suave, sophisticated evil genius. The Woman in White is still passed as a masterpiece of narrative drive and excruciating suspense.
Why did I add The Woman in White to my bookshelf?
At the time I purchased The Woman in White, I was reading through the BBC’s 100 Books You Must Read Before You Die list, and this book was listed. It’s a mystery, one of my favorite genres. If I was to read it now, I’m sure I would have to purchase stronger reading glasses because the font is awfully small, or I’m just older and can’t see as well.
What are your thoughts? Have you read this book? Would you recommend it to others?