Wilkie Collins was a contemporary of Charles Dickens during the Victorian Age. He is widely credited with writing the first “detective” novel. He died on September 23, 1889. A little known fact about Wilkie Collins, according to wikipedia, include his prediction of the concept of “mutually assured destruction” that defined the Cold War era.
The Victorians are well known for writing tomes – books whose weight in words is exceeded only by the profusion of characters and events taking place during the book. The Moonstone is no exception to this rule, weighing in at a whopping 503 pages long – about twice as long as the average Agatha Christie.
The Moonstone can be downloaded free from any number of sources, since it is firmly within the public domain. I bought my own copy, for posterity’s sake, at my local Barnes and Noble.
The novel is told through multiple first-person narratives, the first of which is the longest, which was provided by Gabriel Betteredge, the steward of the large manor from whence the Moonstone was stolen. I’m about midway through that section of the book right now, and am very much enjoying it. Betteredge is a bit of a philosopher, dependent upon Robinson Crusoe to provide him with the guideance that he needs. Yet another book I’ve never read.