1st Edition

Wilkie Collins The Complete Fiction

By Stephen Knight Copyright 2023
    256 Pages
    by Routledge

    256 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book provides the first comprehensive overview of the complete works of Wilkie Collins’s. Examining his vast array of novels and short stories, this volume includes analysis of the social, historical, and political commentary Collins offered within his works, illuminating Collins as more than a successful crime and sensation author, or the fortunate recipient of Dicken’s grand patronage, but as a hard-thinking and lively-writing part of the rich mid-Victorian literary scene. Overall, Collins is seen as a master of narratives which deal with social and personal issues that were much debated in his fifty-year authorial period. Close attention is paid to the events, themes, and characterization in his fiction, revealing his analytic vigor and the literary power of that period and context. Delivering fresh insight into the variety and richness of Collins’ themes and arguments, this volume provides a key source of information and analysis on all Collins’ fiction.



    1.Short Stories 1843-61

    1. Towards the Contemporary Short Story

    2. Tales of Troubled Women

    3. Problems for Families, Gentry, and Professionals

    4. Crime and Detection

    2. The Engagement with Novels – Ioláni to The Woman in White

    1. First Moves in Long Fiction

    2. Novels of Family and Mystery

    3. Extending the Range: Women, France, and Italy

    4. Crime and Mystery Fiction at Home

    5. Sensational Success: The Woman in White

    3. The Confident Novelist

    1. A Woman in Darkness: No Name

    2. `… if there is such a thing as chance?’: Armadale

    3. Into Mystery: The Moonstone

    4. Marriage and Its Obstacles: Man and Wife, Poor Miss Finch, Miss or Mrs?

    5. Return to Troubled Heroines: The New Magdalen, The Law and The Lady, The Two


    4. The Later Short Stories

    1. Introduction

    2. Beyond Crime Fiction

    3. Love, Loss, and Emotional Outcomes, from the Male Viewpoint

    4. Pressures and Claims Towards Marriage, from the Female Viewpoint.

    5.The Final Novels: Crime, Social Politics, Romance and Melodrama

    1. Melodrama and Mystery

    2. Melodrama and Politics

    3. Romance and the Difficulties It Faces

    4. Family and Politics: Final Statements

    5. Conclusion


    Stephen Knight studied at Oxford, then at the University of Sydney, where he completed a PhD on Langland’s Piers Plowman. He taught there for two decades and then worked at Melbourne, De Montfort and Cardiff. He has published widely on medieval and modern literature, with a special interest in widely-known modes such as crime fiction, Robin Hood studies and mid-nineteenth century popular fiction.