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Collins William Wilkie

Collins, William Wilkie (1824-1889), an English novelist, son of William Collins. R.A., was born in London, and educated at Highbury. He went with his father to Italy in 1837, and after his return went into business. He soon quitted this and entered Lincoln's Inn, but eventually took to literature. His first work was a Life of William Collins. R.A. (1848), which was followed by Antonina (1850). Then followed in rapid succession those books which have made him one of the most popular of modern novelists. The Woman in White was the first to strike the general public, and is, perhaps, the general favourite, but to some No Name, The Moonstone, and Armadale are no less attractive. Most people are familiar with Count Fosco. Old Mazey, Captain Wragge, and Ozias Midwinter. In a letter to Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins gives an interesting account of how, when the book was finished, he went down to Broadstairs at a loss for a title, and how the sight of the white lighthouse, as he lay upon the cliff, suggested to him White Woman, then Woman in White.