Book: The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
Pages read: 544 of 609.
Weekly goal: I have a little over 60 pages until the end. I managed to read over 20 pages every day and some days I read many more pages than that, not being able to stop myself.
In 2010 there was The Woman in White 150 years anniversary of publication project. The project included:
- The original 40 installments that were made to the literary magazines, All the Year Round (Great Britain, and Harper's Weekly (USA).
- The installments are available in pdf format so the project participants could read the installments just as the original readers did 150 years before. Here is the pdf of Part 1 so you can see what the format looked like.
- John McLenan, created illustrations for each of the installments for the Harper's Weekly magazine. The illustration above is from part 1 when Walter meets the woman in white.
- Engravings by Francis Arthur Fraser from the 1875 Piccadilly edition by Chatto & Windus are beautifully rendered.
- In the original book Willie Collins wrote this opening to his preface. The edition I am reading, published in 1991 by Everyman's Library, Alfred A. Knopf, also contains the same preface.
AN experiment is attempted in this novel, which has
not (so far as I know) been hitherto tried in fiction.
The story of the book is told throughout by the
characters of the book. They are all placed in
different positions along the chain of events; and
they all take the chain up in turn, and carry it on
to the end.
- The Woman in White was Collins' favorite book of all that he wrote. After reading bits and pieces of the information from the 150 year anniversary project, I can see why. He had an adoring public for his work.
What pleases me:
I reflected this morning during a quiet moment of thought how The Woman in White has returned my reading mojo. By holding myself to the 20 page a day (approximately) goal and meeting this goal I feel quite accomplished. But more than that I no longer feel any fear of the "classics." What is next for me? Middlemarch? Great Expectations? The Three Musketeers?
The action (no spoilers):
The SECRET has finally been revealed and it is a doozy. Collins did a great job doling out the action and suspense and I couldn't figure out the terrible secret that made Sir Percival so angry and defensive, and frankly, dangerous. Now that the secret has come to light one would think the last 100 pages would all be anti-climatic. No. Now we turn out eyes toward the dastardly Count Fosco.
Comments: I hope to finish up by or before Friday, a week ahead of schedule. Woot. Woot!