Wilkie Collins, live

OK, he’s not exactly “live,” but Victorian novelist Wilkie Collins is making a splash on the web these days. The occasion is the 150th anniversary of the serialization of his best-known work, The Woman in White.  Fans can now read the story as it was originally published—in weekly installments. Collins enthusiast Paul Lewis is emailing PDFs of the text to subscribers around the world, on the same calendar date that readers of Dickens’ popular paper All the Year Round read the story 150 years ago.

Opening installment of 'The Woman in White'

These PDF reproductions are authentic down to the errors, which Paul documents in each weekly email.

Readers can also view the John McLenan illustrations that accompanied the story when it was published Stateside, in Harper’s Weekly.

Original illustrations

The fourth installment will be released December 14, with the final section appearing on August 22. I’m signed up and pretty excited about experiencing the novel this way, since there’s no way I could otherwise justify squeezing in a re-read of anything! If your “to-be-read” stack is similarly daunting, it might be a refreshing alternative. Want to read along? Email Paul, or visit the site to download the PDFs.

2 Responses to Wilkie Collins, live

  1. Steph says:

    What a great way to experience this book! I actually picked it up a week or so ago and started to read it, but I have so many other things that have to be read that I feel like I can’t devote all of my attention to such a long book for the time being… so really these little installments are the perfect remedy to my dilemma! Thanks for the heads up, Trisha!

  2. […] A reader’s best friend? At BookPage, we were excited to read about Paul Lewis’s Wilkie Collins project; from now until August 22, you can receive The Woman in White in daily e-mail […]

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