The Moonstone – Wilkie Collins
Download The Moonstone ebook. The Moonstone (1868) by Wilkie Collins is a 19th-century British epistolary novel, generally considered the first full length detective novel in the English language. The story was originally serialised in Charles Dickens’ magazine All the Year Round. The Moonstone and The Woman in White are widely considered Wilkie Collins’ best novels. Besides creating many of the ground rules of the detective novel, The Moonstone also reflected Collins’ enlightened social attitudes in his treatment of the servants in the novel. Collins adapted The Moonstone for the stage in 1877, but the production was performed for only two months.
“When you looked down into the stone, you looked into a yellow deep that drew your eyes into it so that they saw nothing else.”
The Moonstone, a yellow diamond looted from an Indian temple and believed to bring bad luck to its owner, is bequeathed to Rachel Verinder on her eighteenth birthday. That very night the priceless stone is stolen again and when Sergeant Cuff is brought in to investigate the crime, he soon realizes that no one in Rachel’s household is above suspicion. Hailed by T. S. Eliot as “the first, the longest, and the best of modern English detective novels,” The Moonstone is a marvellously taut and intricate tale of mystery, in which facts and memory can prove treacherous and not everyone is as they first appear.
Sandra Kemp’s introduction examines The Moonstone as a work of Victorian sensation fiction and an early example of the detective genre, and discusses the technique of multiple narrators, the role of opium, and Collins’s sources and autobiographical references.
The book reminds me a lot of an Agatha Christie type mystery, but she took Collins’ characters and plot ideas to a whole other level. Still, I’ve enjoyed the language and style of writing in this book. Much more satisfying mystery than the more recent bloody, sexy novels of today. I just ordered his other book “Woman in White” but haven’t started it yet
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Wilkie (William) Collins (1824-89) was a hugely successful and popular crime, mystery and suspense writer. He wrote the first full-length detective novels in English and set a mould for the genre as shown in The Moonstone and “The Woman in White.”
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