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Wilkie Collins is best known for his great mystery The Moonstone and The Woman in White—and for a life as sensational as are those novels. (The writer who famously advised other novelists to 'make 'em laugh, make 'em cry, make 'em wait' is now known to have kept entire households in different parts of
The story is motivates by the attraction between Herbert Linley and the woman he hires as governess for his child Kitty—the long suffering Sydney Westerfield. As one expects with Collins, the story is driven forward with deft assurance. Yet he also treats the theme of adultery and divorce in a manner quite unconventional for his time—and, remarkably, he manages to draw readers into a sympathetic understanding of both of the main female characters: the offending governess and the aggrieved wife.
The Evil Genius was a very considerable success when first published; indeed, it brought Collins more financially than any of his other works. Over a century later its sinews retain the strength to speak powerfully to the reader; lively and intelligent, it is perhaps the finest of Collins' later novels.
"Collins' boldness in drawing sympathetic portraits of both the wife and 'the other woman' is astonishingly modern. The novel well deserves to be brought back into print." - Catherine Peters,
Graham Law is an associate professor of English Studies at Waseda University, Japan, the author of Reading Contemporary English Fiction, he has also written extensively on nineteenth-century suspense novels and is the editor of two other Broadview Literary Texts editions: Hard Times and Great Expectations (with Adrian Pinnington).
Academics please note that this is a title classified as having a restricted allocation of complimentary copies. While the availability of bound complimentary copies is restricted to desk copies only, electronic complimentary copies are readily available for those professors wishing to consider this title for possible course adoption. Should you choose to adopt the book after viewing an electronic copy we will be happy to provide a bound desk copy.
Table of Contents: [Back to Top]
Wilkie Collins: A Brief Chronology
A Note on the Text
The Evil Genius
Appendix A: Contemporary Documents
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The Evil Genius
1994 • 379pp • Paperback • 9781551110172 / 1551110172