Collins, William Wilkie

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Collins, William Wilkie


Born Jan. 8, 1824, in London; died there Sept. 23, 1889. English writer. Lawyer by education.

Collins was one of the first writers of detective fiction. His novels are characterized by complex plots, with the story presented through eyewitness accounts by the participants in the action (The Woman in White, 1860; Russian translation, 1957), exoticism and psychological anomalies (The Moonstone, 1868; Russian translation, 1947), and colorful figures (an incisive amateur sleuth, an eccentric professional detective).

Dickens appreciated Collins’ mastery of plot construction and collaborated with him on such works as “The Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices” (1857) and “No Thoroughfare” (1867; Russian translation, 1868). Normally indifferent to social themes, Collins was influenced by Dickens to include in his work some criticism of the red tape of the British courts, bourgeois hypocrisy, and money grubbing.


The Works, vols. 1–30. New York [18—].
In Russian translation:
Bednaia miss Finch. Moscow, 1871.
Zakon i zhenshchina. Moscow, 1875.


Istoriia angliiskoi literatury, vol. 2, fase. 2. Moscow, 1955.
Pirson, Kh. Dikkens. Moscow, 1963. Pages 292–317.
Ellis, S. M. Wilkie Collins, Le Fanu and Others. Freeport, N. Y., 1968.
Marshall, W. H. Wilkie Collins. New York [1970].


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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