Widely regarded as the precursor of the modern mystery and suspense novels, The Moonstone tells of the events surrounding the disappearance of a mysterious (and cursed) yellow diamond. T. S. Eliot... More > called it 'the first, the longest, and the best of modern English detective novels'. It contains a number of ideas which became common tropes of the genre, including a crime being investigated by talented amateurs who happen to be present when it is committed, and two police officers who exemplify respectively the 'Scotland Yard bungler' and the skilled, professional detective.< Less
A romance of the fifth century, in which many of the scenes described in the 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire ' are reset to suit the purpose of the author. Only two historical personages are... More > introduced into the story,— the Emperor Honorius, and Alaric the Goth; and these attain only a secondary importance. Among the historical incidents used are the arrival of the Goths at the gates of Rome, the Famine, the last efforts of the besieged, the Treaty of Peace, the introduction of the Dragon of Brass, and the collection of the ransom,— most of these accounts being founded on the chronicles of Zosimus.< Less
Wilkie Collins's collection of fourteen short stories:
-Mrs Zant and the Ghost
Experiencing a vision of her dead husband.
-Miss Morris and the Stranger
Becoming a governess.
-Mr Cosway and the... More > Landlady
Hearing that your future wife has died.
-Mr Medhurst and the Princess
Caught up in a minor political intrigue.
-Mr Lismore and the Widow
Being in financial difficulties.
-Miss Jeromette and the Clergyman
Falling in love with a Frenchwoman.
-Miss Mina and the Groom
Marrying a groom.
-Mr Lepel and the Housekeeper
A play of their future.
-Mr Captain and the Nymph
The Fortuna is blown off course in the South Pacific..
-Mr Marmaduke and the Minister
Falling in love with a minister's daughter.
-Mr Percy and the Prophet
Frenchman scratching a living by fortune-telling.
-Miss Bertha and the Yankee
An illegal duel fight.
-Miss Dulane and My Lord
Making a marriage of convenience.
-Mr Policeman and the Cook
Confession describes a murder case.< Less
Mrs Treverton lies dying in Porthgenna Tower on the west coast of Cornwall. She dictates to her maid, Sarah Leeson, a deathbed confession for her husband, Captain Treverton. Mrs Treverton dies... More > before before she can make Sarah swear to give it to the Captain but she has already extracted promises neither to destroy the paper nor take it away from the house. Sarah therefore hides the confession in the Myrtle Room in the derelict north wing and after leaving a note for the Captain disappears from the house.< Less
In the Swiss town of Wildbad during 1832, Allan Armadale makes a deathbed confession of murder, written down by the only other British visitor, Mr Neal. The document is sent to Armadale's executors,... More > to be given to his son when he comes of age, warning him never to contact people connected with the confession.< Less
This is the story of two sisters living in Victorian England with their selfish, uninterested uncle as their guardian. Marian Halcombe is the elder of the two sisters, and a remarkably ugly woman,... More > but with courage, strength and resourcefulness in abundance. The younger, her beautiful half-sister Laura Fairlie, is engaged to a rich man by the name of Sir Percival Glyde.< Less
In three months from the memorable day when his solicitor had informed him that he was a free man, Mr. Vanborough possessed the wife he desired, to grace the head of his table and to push his... More > fortunes in the world--the Legislature of Great Britain being the humble servant of his treachery, and the respectable accomplice of his crime.< Less
Ovid Vere, a brilliant young doctor, is advised to take a long rest to save his health. His formidable mother, Mrs Gallilee, has remarried and he has two step-sisters. The day before Ovid is due... More > to go away he follows an attractive girl in the street to a concert which his mother also attends. The girl faints and is discovered to be Carmina Graywell, Mrs Gallilee's niece from Italy, accompanied by her old nurse, Teresa.
Carmina soon recovers and Mrs Gallilee is appointed her guardian and will receive generous expenses for her trouble. Ovid takes Carmina, Zo, Maria and their governess Miss Minerva to the zoo where they meet Dr Benjulia, a specialist in diseases who has an unpleasant reputation as a vivisectionist.< Less
After a traumatic childhood and youth, Sydney Westerfield is rescued from the drudgery of teaching in her aunt's school by becoming the governess of Kitty, only child of Herbert and Catherine Linley.... More > Herbert and Sydney fall in love and matters are brought to a crisis by the meddling of Mrs Presty, Catherine Linley's mother. Sydney leaves the household but is brought back when Kitty becomes seriously ill, pining for her beloved governess. The situation deteriorates further and Catherine leaves her husband. To avoid custody of the child being given to Herbert, she goes into hiding with her mother and Kitty, obtaining a divorce under Scottish law. Kitty, however, is miserable. She misses her father and her governess - she is told her father is dead - and lacks companions because other children are not allowed to play with the child of divorced parents.< Less