William Wilkie Collins (1824-1889) was an English novelist, playwright, and writer of short stories. He was hugely popular in his time, and wrote 27 novels, more than 50 short stories, at least 15 plays, and over 100 pieces of non-fiction work. His best-known works are The Woman in White (1860), The Moonstone (1868), Armadale (1866) and No Name (1862). His works were classified at the time as 'sensation novels', a genre seen nowadays as the precursor to detective fiction and suspense fiction. He also wrote penetratingly on the plight of women and on the social and domestic issues of his time. His novel, No Name combined social commentary - the absurdity of the law as it applied to children of unmarried parents - with a densely-plotted revenge thriller. Amongst his other works are: Basil (1852), Hide and Seek (1854), After the Dark (1856), The Frozen Deep (1857), The Queen of Hearts (1859), Man and Wife (1870), The New Magdalen (1873), The Law and the Lady (1875), The Two Destinies (1876) and A Rogue's Life (1879).
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