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Wilkie Collins. Book 9: 1. Poor Miss Finch; 2. The New Magdalen; 3. The Law and the Lady.

1. Poor Miss Finch

Poor Miss Finch (1872) by Wilkie Collins is a novel about a young blind woman who temporarily regains her sight while finding herself in a romantic triangle with two brothers.

Twenty-one-year-old Lucilla Finch, the independently wealthy daughter of the rector of Dimchurch, Sussex, has been blind since infancy. Shortly after the narrator, Madame Pratolungo, arrives to serve as her paid companion, Lucilla falls in love with Oscar Dubourg, her shy and reclusive neighbour, also wealthy, who devotes himself to craftsmanship in precious metals.

After being attacked and knocked unconscious by robbers, Oscar is nursed by Lucilla and falls in love with her, and the couple become engaged. Their plans are jeopardized by Oscar's epilepsy, a result of the blow to his head. The only effective treatment, a silver compound, has the side-effect of turning his skin a permanent, dark blue-grey...

2. The New Magdalen

Novel published in 1873, dedicated to the memory of Charles Allston Collins who died during its composition.  One of the most didactic of Wilkie Collins's 'novels with a purpose', treating the then fashionable theme of the 'fallen woman' who attempts to put her past behind her but is repeatedly thwarted by the prejudices of respectable English society.  The heroine is not only, conventionally, 'rescued' by a clergyman but, unconventionally, finally married to him.

3. The Law and the Lady

Valeria Woodville’s first act as a married woman is to sign her name in the marriage register incorrectly, and this slip is followed by the gradual disclosure of a series of secrets about her husband’s earlier life, each of which leads on to another set of questions and enigmas. Her discoveries prompt her to defy her husband’s authority, to take the law into into a labyrinthine maze of false clues and deceptive identities, in which the exploration of the tangled workings of the mind becomes linked to an investigation into the masquerades of femininity. Probably the first full-length novel with a woman detective as its heroine, The Law and the Lady is a fascinating example of Collins’s later fiction. First published in 1875, it employs many of the techniques used in The Moonstone, developing them in bizarre and unexpected ways, and in its Gothic and fantastic elements The Law and the Lady adds a significant dimension to the history of detective fiction.

9 de mayo
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Sergiy Kurash

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