Wilkie Collins (1824-1889)
William Wilkie Collins, a contemporary and friend of Charles Dickens, was born in London to landscape artist William Collins and his wife Harriet, and, unlike Dickens, Wilkie had a comfortable childhood there. He was not a healthy child or adult, however, and suffered from arthritis, which would later cause him to be addicted to opium through the common pain-killer of the day, laudanum. Despite his good upbringing, Collins was excessive in all things as an adult; he also never married, but spent most of his life living with one of two women. His first published work came the year after his father's death in 1847 and was a biography of William Collins; in 1850 he published his first novel, "Antonia." He is most famous today for his crime novel "Moonstone," which many consider to be the first of its genre. Throughout his life he also co-wrote several plays and short stories with Charles Dickens and novelist Mrs. Elizabeth Gaskell. On September 23, 1889, he suffered a stroke and died, nineteen years after Dicken's death.
Books by Wilkie Collins
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