Friday, 8 January 2010

On this day...

Victorian novelist Wilkie Collins was born in 1824. Son of Royal Academician artist William Collins, Wilkie moved with his parents to live in Italy between the ages of 12 and 15. Shortly after his return Collins attempted numerous careers, varying from clerk to a tea-merchant to lawyer and even to artist, until, with the release of his first published novel, 'Antonia', he eventually settled on that of a writer. By far the most significant moment of his then fledging literary career, was his meeting Charles Dickens; an event which proved a launchpad for Collins' success. He quickly became editor of Dickens' 'Household Words', and Dickens' weekly publication 'All the Year Round', was the platform for many of Collins' serialised novels. The later death of Dickens in 1870, along with Collins' copious opium use, is thought to have led to a decline in his works, emphasising the important role of Dickens in his works. A writer of sensation novels, Collins' works were a forerunner of modern detective fiction, and his best examples include 'The Woman in White' and 'The Moonstone'. He died in 1889, at the age of 65.  

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