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Wilkie Collins

(1824 - 1889)

William Wilkie Collins was an English novelist, playwright, and short story writer best known for his innovative mystery and suspense novels. As a close friend and contemporary of Charles Dickens, Collins became a leading figure in the Victorian literary world. His most celebrated works include "The Woman in White" (1859) and "The Moonstone" (1868), both of which are regarded as early prototypes of the modern detective novel.

Collins's writing is characterised by his intricate plots and the use of multiple narratives to create a sense of mystery and depth. He often tackled social issues in his work, challenging Victorian norms concerning marriage, the role of women, and the justice system. Despite suffering from gout and an opium addiction, which he developed as a form of pain relief, Collins continued to write prolifically throughout his life.

His innovative use of the unreliable narrator and legal and social commentary positioned him as a precursor to later detective fiction writers. Today, Collins's novels are hailed for their ahead-of-their-time exploration of the human psyche and the murky boundaries between right and wrong. His influence is seen in the works of many crime and thriller authors who followed, cementing his legacy as a pioneer of the genre.

Short Stories member since March 2016