#throwbackthursday is a day for nostalgia and reminiscing, for a booklover, a perfect day to look back at a classic book…
The Woman in White, Wilkie Collins
The Woman in White is a sensationalist, detective/ ghost story.
Uses different characters voices and styles – diary entries, epistolary (letters) and narrative.
Our Protagonist, Walter, meets a woman dressed all in white who he in turn offers his assistance. He later discovers that this is Anne, who has escaped from an asylum. Walter proceeds to take a job as a teacher to two half-sisters, and falls in love with Laura who is promised to another man and bears an uncanny resemblance to Anne.
Here follows a story with that many twists and turns, secrets and wrongdoings, villains where you would not expect and an exploration of the rights of married women at the time.
The Woman in White is a Victorian sensation novel. Sensationalism was a literary movement between 1860-1880, a branch of Gothic literature and quite literally it is a story that uses your senses to thrill you and play will your emotions. It will always have a theme or topic that would be shocking (at the time), in the same way the media uses shock tactics in advertising i.e. an anti-abortion poster, without being unrealistic.
This story is one of my favourites, I love classic literature and Gothic literature and this book actually made me breathless. Wilkie Collins was a genius, he had a law degree and was knowledgeable of the things he was writing about making the novel even more believable and shocking. I don’t want to give too much away so as to spoil story but I implore you to read it. It is an easy read, unlike many Victorian novels (Charles Dickens I’m looking at you!) and you will not be able to put it down!