Today we’ll start reading Wilkie Collins’s novella, The Frozen Deep and we’ll be discussing this slim work on January 7th. Check the Wilkie in Winter post at the Estella Society page for details on our readalong of The Woman in White beginning in January.
Feel free to read as much or as little as you like. You can join in the readalongs or do your own thing. Short stories and novellas are readily available, or perhaps a non-fiction biography about Collins tickles your fancy. I also highly recommend Dan Simmons novel Drood which has Collins as a main character if you want something modern (and disturbing).
I thought I would briefly share my first Wilkie Collins experience.
When I was 12 my dad came home from a library book sale with a multi-volume encyclopedia set of famous authors. Publication date? 1892! My favorite volume was at the end and it contained synopses of the “best” novels. I was intrigued by the synopsis of The Woman in White, but I thought that Wilkie Collins was a girl!
Later, after college graduation, I was wandering the public library and decided to pick up The Moonstone. Up until that point I had always intended to read Wilkie Collins, but I was kinda disappointed that Wilkie wasn’t a female writer (I should point out I read almost exclusively female and/or ethnic authors in college). I checked out the book, stretched out on my bed, and was immediately sucked in. In the past ten years I’ve read The Moonstone several times, The Woman in White, The Dead Secret, The Law and the Lady, and Armadale. Although I do tend to enjoy the novels far better than his shorter works, I look forward to reading all the Wilkie I can get my hands on.
I’m eager to revisit The Woman in White, discuss The Frozen Deep, and maybe throw some short stories on the pile. If I’m really ambitious I might sneak in the chunkster, No Name.
Happy Wintering Wilkie Fans!