Staff Pick: Wilkie Collins

Winter can be the perfect time to get lost in a good book, and there’s not much else to do this winter in particular! On one of these cold winter nights, try a book by Wilkie Collins. A contemporary and friend of Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins (1824-1889) was an English author and playwright. While he wrote during the Victorian era, Collins’s books are often exciting page-turners, full of mystery, romance, and plenty of twists. Many of his classic novels are always available to borrow as ebooks in Overdrive.

Collins’s best know novel is probably The Woman in White, available as a book, audiobook, ebook, and digital audiobook. It has also been adapted into several movies and miniseries, including a recent 2018 BBC version, and an Andrew Lloyd Weber musical in 2004. If you enjoy The Woman in White, try Fingersmith by Sarah Waters, inspired by Collins’s story; it was also adapted into the critically acclaimed Korean film The Handmaiden.

The Moonstone is another famous work, and often called the first detective novel. Borrow as a book, audiobook, ebook, or digital audiobook, then check out the 2016 BBC adaptation.

If you’re interested in Wilkie Collins’s life, check out a recent biography by Peter Ackroyd. For a fictional take, try Drood by Dan Simmons, a horror novel inspired by the friendship and rivalry between Collins and Dickens.


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