Last updated: 8 September 2005.
Among English novels of the present day, and among English novelists, a great division is made. There are sensational novels, and anti-sensational; sensational novelists, and anti-sensational; snesational readers, and anti-sensational. The novelists who are considered to be anti-sensational are generally called realistic. I am realistic. My friend Wilkie Collins is generally supposed to be sensational. The readers who prefer the one are supposed to take delight in the elucidation of the character. Those who hold by the other are charmed by the construction and gradual development of a plot. All this is, I think, a mistake,--which mistake arises from the inability of the imperfect artist to be at the same time realistic and sensational. A good novel should be both,--and both in the highest degree. If a novel fail in either, there is a failure in Art. . . . No novel is anything, for purposes either of comedy or tragedy, unless the reader can sympathise with the characters whose names he finds upon the page. Let an author so tell his tale as to touch his reader's heart and draw his tears, and he has, so far, done his work well. Truth let there be,--truth of description, truth of chatracter, human truth as to men and women. If there be such truth, I do not know that a novel can be too sensational. (Anthony Trollope, An Autobiography)
This page seeks to collect any and all useful Internet materials related to the life and works of Wilkie Collins. I would gratefully appreciate any information supplied regarding Wilkie Collins on the Web.
The Grave of Wilkie Collins, Kensal Green in north-west London. (Courtesy of David Borrill)
March 26, 1996
Tamar Heller and Lillian Nayder are pleased to announce the formation of a new society devoted to the study and discussion of Wilkie Collins. This newly formed society welcomes all those interested in Collins and his works, whether they consider themselves enthusiasts or scholars; we hope it will provide a forum and a network for its members in a number of ways:
1) By providing a list which includes the particular interests and/or works in progress of its members, in the hopes of identifying and bringing together those engaged in archival research on Collins and in constructing electronic resources, and in order to foster collaborative undertakings;
2) By providing a newsletter, which will (hopefully) evolve into a journal devoted to Collins scholarship and reviews;
3) By organizing a conference on sensation fiction, to be held on or before the year 2000.
While we would like the society to be recognized by the Modern Language Association, and organize an annual Collins panel for the December convention (as opposed to "special sessions," so often rejected on single authors), we understand that the MLA is wary of granting "official" status to new societies, and are rather skeptical of success in that regard.
We would like those interested in joining a Collins society to provide us with the following information:
1) Your name, address (mail and email), and academic or professional affiliation;
2) A description of your particular interests in Collins;
3) A list of publications and/or works in progress on Collins (for a bibliography).
Depending, of course, on membership figures, we believe that annual dues of $20.00 will cover the costs of publishing and mailing a newsletter and compiling membership information, but we are not accepting dues at this time. We would prefer that the Collins Society newsletter appear both electronically and in published (printed) form, but we solicit your opinions in this regard.
We look forward to hearing from interested parties. Please respond (privately) to either or both of us:
The *Wilkie Collins Society Journal* is an annual volume dedicated to original scholarly essays and reviews of publications relating to Wilkie Collins, his works, and his culture. The *Journal* appeared regularly during the 1980s but has recently been dormant. A New Series will be launched in 1998, with a fresh editorial team and editorial board, sponsored jointly by the original London-based Wilkie Collins Society and the newly-formed Wilkie Collins Society of North America.
The joint-editors are Graham Law and Lillian Nayder; the editorial board includes Tamar Heller, Clair Hughes, Phillip O'Neill, Catherine Peters, Jenny Bourne Taylor and Ronald R. Thomas.
The editors are now actively seeking submissions for the opening issues. Articles (not more than 6,000 words) should be sent to one of the postal addresses provided below. All manuscripts should follow the MLA Stylesheet, 2nd edition, and be submitted on computer diskette (MS-DOS Format, with Microsoft Word or Word Perfect) plus one paper copy, and should not be under consideration for publication elsewhere. Please note that the e-mail addresses provided should be used for enquiries only, not for submissions.
Submissions from North America to:
Submissions from elsewhere to:
[From April 1998]
This extract is taken from the mailing list VICTORIA.
17 August 1998.
I would like to announce the establishment of a new list for the discussion of the life, time and works of Wilkie Collins at http://www.onelist.com/ this is a free service, but to join the list you have to become a registered onelist user, that's free and no strings too.
I found this because I joined a victoria list and Lewis Carroll list there. The site is called Wilkiecollins@onelist.com and it's filled under both new lists, Books | Authors, or by doing a search for the list name. Registration is simple and many of the information areas are optional. Since this not a restricted list you do not need to supply last name or any info you do not wish to provide.
This is the Description of the list as it appears on onelist.
Wilkiecollins [English] [For People Over 17] Similar lists This list is for book lovers and scholars alike who would like to discuss and keep in touch with others who enjoy talking about Wilkie Collins, his life, works, and world. Wilkie Collins (1824-1889) wrote 25 novels, more than 50 short stories, at least 15 plays, and more than 100 pieces of journalism. His novels include The Woman In White and The Moonstone, considered by many to be the first full length detective novel in English. This list will not only be a place for scholars and enthusiasts to network, but also, if there is an interest, a cyber reading group of the works of Wilkie Collins allowing for the free exchange of ideas, impressions, and beliefs regarding the man and his era.
For more information, SusanDara@aol.com