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Intrigue, investigations, thievery, drugs and murder all make an appearance in Collins's classic who-done-it, The Moonstone. Published in serial form in 1868, it was inspired in part by a spectacular murder case widely reported in the early 1860s.
Collins's story revolves around a diamond stolen from a Hindu holy place. On her eighteenth birthday, Rachel Verinder receives the diamond, but by the following morning the stone has been stolen again. As the story unravels through multiple eyewitness accounts, the elderly Sergeant Cuff—with a face "sharp as a hatchet"—looks for the culprit.
One of Collins's best-loved novels, with an exciting plot moved along by deftly-drawn characters and elegant pacing, The Moonstone was also turned into a play by Collins; the play appears as an appendix to this edition.
"This superbly edited and richly documented edition of what T.S. Eliot described as 'the first and greatest of English detective novels' is the definitive and indispensible edition of The Moonstone." - William Baker, Northern Illinois University
"The Moonstone, one of Wilkie Collins's most popular and successful novels, has never been out of print since its first publication in 1868. Is another edition needed? The answer, in the case of Professor Farmer's scholarly and impeccably edited text, must be a resounding yes. Invaluable for his survey of past and present reactions to the story, and for his own insights, the edition also includes historical and background material and a well-chosen collection of relevant contemporary documents—always an important feature of Broadview Literary Texts. This Moonstone will surely prove another winner for Broadview's list." - Catherine Peters, author of The King of Inventors: A Life of Wilkie Collins
"Steve Farmer's Broadview edition will undoubtedly become the definitive edition of The Moonstone. [It] deserves a five star rating." - The Wilkie Collins Society Journal.
"Here is a book which anyone with an interest in either Collins or Victorian literature in general will want to buy. The chief reason for this is Broadview's exceptionally generous editorial policy in its series of Literary Texts, and the very good use that Steve Farmer has made of this generosity. In this edition, for a reasonable price, we are given not only a beautifully printed and error-free annotated text of the novel, but also a full introduction and over 150 pages of appendices...This is the first time that Collins' dramatic adaptation of the novel has been reprinted and this text alone is well worth the price of the book." - Adrian J. Pinnington, Waseda University (from Wilkie Collins Society Journal)
Steve Farmer, of the English Department at Arizona State University, has also edited Wilkie Collin's Heart and Science for this series.
Table of Contents: [Back to Top]
William Wilkie Collins: A Brief Chronology
A Note on the Text
Appendix A: Early Reviews of The Moonstone
- Geraldine Jewsbury, The Athenaeum
- The Spectator
- The Times
- Harper's New Monthly Magazine
- Lippincott's Magazine
Appendix B: Excerpts from Newspaper Accounts of the Constance
- Kent/Road-house Murder Case of 1860
- The Times (July 3, 1860 to October 2, 1865)
- The Sommerset and Wilts Journal (July 21, 1860)
Appendix C: Excerpts from The Times Accounts of the Major Murray/Northumberland Street Case of 1861
Appendix D: Collins on Indians
"A Sermon for Sepoys." Household Words
Appendix E: Letters by Collins Concerning The Moonstone (the Novel and the Play)
Appendix F: The Moonstone (the Play)
Appendix G: Reviews of the Olympic Theatre Performance of Collins's The Moonstone
- The Times
- The Illustrated London News
- The Athenaeum
- The Spirit of the Times, New York
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1999 • 719pp • Paperback • 9781551112435 / 1551112434