Montag, 2. April 2012

The Woman in White: Initial Thoughts


The Woman in White Readalong is starting today and before we dive into the book we are supposed to record what we already know about it.
Well...Frankly it's pretty miraculous just how little I know about this book. I thought it was some kind of ghost story, but obviously I'm a Philistine since it's not (but come on: The Woman in Black is about a ghost and The Woman in White is not? That's neither fair nor logic). My only comfort is that spying on looking at the other participants' posts they don't have much knowledge ahead of me. This book is a mystery!
Anyway, I am just going to summarise what I know about the author and you should not be surprised that most of it is Dickens-related since it all comes from a Dickens biography:

  • Wilkie Collins wass no woman (you might think this information is unnecessary, but trust me, it's not. I am experienced.)
  • He was obviously a very close friend of Charles Dickens, which is more or less the reason I am interested in him
  • He wrote a play about an Arctic expedition called The Frozen Deep. In this play two men fall in love with the same woman and the one who is not chosen by her ultimately sacrifices his life so that the other one can survive. Does this sound familiar? Exactly, because it was what influenced Dickens so heavily that he wrote A Tale of Two Cities and created the character of Sydney Carton.
  •  Dickens and Collins appeared in the two starring roles of The Frozen Deep.
  •  The play was so successful that they took it on tour and Queen Victoria demanded a special performance.
And that's it. Next monday I will have read everything until the end of Hartright's Narrative, though presently I have no idea who that is and you, my dear readers will be enlightened with me. Let's find out whether good old Wilkie deserves to be mentioned in the same sentence with Dickens.

Kommentare:

  1. I know a bit more thanks to a TV adaptation I saw some years ago...but I won't spoil it for you by saying anything. :) Enjoy!

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    1. Nooooo! I am dying of curiosity!!! You are so cruel!
      I guess my only option is to go to bed and start reading immediately :)

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  2. Waaaait a second, in the Catherine Dickens doc narrated by Sue Perkins, I thought she said Dickens wrote The Frozen Deep, because Ellen Ternan was in it and it was all like "oh, look at the similarities in their real life and play situations." Maybe she just said he acted in it though. Hmmmmmm.

    WILKIE COLLINS HO!

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    1. JEAN KNOWS IT ALL.
      But considering Ellen Ternan and Wilkie's various mistresses I begin to understand what the book means with "They became instant friends, recognising in each other the unconventionality Dickens could not reveal in most aspects of his life"
      GOD THESE VICTORIAN GUYS!

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  3. It does seem like none of us knows what the book is about. I wonder why that is? One of my best friends read it a year or so ago and told me I would love it, so I went out and bought it and... then just let it sit on my TBR.

    Thank goodness Alice came along and prodded me into dusting it off. I think I like not knowing what it's about; too often blurbs or summaries ruin important plot points.

    Happy reading!

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    1. Perhaps there is a secret spell on it that makes it impossible for people to talk about its plot? That is the only possible explanation why all of us want to read it and have no idea what it's about.
      I guess next Monday we'll find out if my theory is right.
      Thank you, and happy reading to you too! Soon we'll be the elitist group of chosen who know what The Woman in White is actually about.

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    2. THANK GOODNESS FOR ALICE INDEED

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  4. I've read it twice, ha ha! I know all about it.

    I quite enjoy Wilkie Collins' books. They are a little more sensational than Dickens, and maybe slightly easier to read. I hope you have fun with the Woman in White!

    I read The Frozen Deep last year and enjoyed it. It's by far the *shortest* thing I've ever seen by Wilkie (he and Dickens did the play together and then Collins wrote a novella of the story).

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    1. Noooooo! That's not fair! NO ONE knows what this book is about! Do you realise that I would be forever angry with you now if you had not solved the Dickens/Wilkie/The Frozen Deep mystery? ;)


      Sensational sounds good! I am a little bit biased for Wilkie, after all Dickens liked him so much. If I like The Woman in White I want to read The Moonstone in summer too, we'll see.

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  5. That's it. I'm joining in. I want to be a part of the Wilkie Collins fun -- and it's also on my Classics Club list.

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    1. Muahahaha! I knew we could convince you! The Wilkie Collins fun is allmighty!
      No, seriously: I am glad you're joining! :D

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  6. I think the unknown makes The Woman In White a little eerie. I watched a film adaptation a few years ago and from what I have read thus far, it did a horrible betrayal. Back to the drawing board for me.

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