The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins


Manage series 1294399
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Wilkie Collins’s The Woman in White tells the story of two half-sisters, Laura Fairlie and Marian Halcombe who were embroiled in the sinister plot of Sir Percival Glyde and Count Fosco to take over their family’s wealth. It’s considered to be one of the first “sensation novels” to be published. Like most novels that fall into this category, the protagonists here are pushed to their limits by the villains before they finally got the justice they deserved. The story begins with Walter Hartright helping a woman dressed in white who turned out to have escaped from a mental asylum. A day later, he travelled to Cumberland to be a drawing master to the half-sisters Laura Fairlie and Marian Halcombe. While he was in their house he discovered that the woman dressed in white whom he helped was also Laura’s sister. Walter and Laura eventually became very close to each other and had a relationship, but Laura was already set to marry Sir Percival Glyde. Marian advised Walter to forget his love for Laura and live their place, a painful advice which he followed. Laura eventually married Glyde and this is when things started to turn for the worse for the main characters in the novel. Glyde and his friend Count Fosco were masters of deception and they’d do everything they can to get the things they want. In the story, Glyde was already in financial difficulties when he married Laura who was from a rich family. In order to get her family’s riches he’s willing to resort to desperate means. Glyde is portrayed here as an archetypical villain which every reader of this book will surely hate. When it was first published in 1859, The Woman in White quickly became a best-seller because of its theme and storyline. More than a hundred years since its first publication, readers can still relate to its characters and empathize with the protagonists in the story.

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