Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Woman in White Super-Happy-Fun-Time Read-Along begins...NOW

It's time for another Reading Rambo read-along!

We're reading The Woman in White, which I've been meaning to read for a while and is also one of the books in my Smooth Criminals reading challenge for this year. So far April is advertising itself as the month for conveniently overlapping goals, which automatically makes me suspicious. *looks askance at April*

I know almost nothing about this book, and this will be my first foray into Wilkie Collins's oeuvre. The author blurb in my Bantam Classic copy tells me that Wilkie and Charles Dickens were basically the Anne and Diana of 19th century London.
"Collins brought out the boyish, adventurous side of Dickens's character; the two novelists traveled to Italy, Switzerland, and France together, and their travels produced such lighthearted collaborations as 'The Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices.' They also shared a passion for the theater, and Collins's melodramas . . . were presented by Dickens's private company, with Dickens and Collins in leading roles."
Just pretend these kindred spirits have beards.
BUT Charlie and Wilkie didn't stop at skipping across Europe and giggling over black currant wine; they were also bosom friends of douchebaggery and . . . well . . . of actual bosoms. We all know Dickens was an ass hat, and Wilkie had two mistresses that he didn't even bother to keep secret. He even fathered three kids with one of them (that lucky lady).

The good news is, he was afflicted with a horribly painful eye disease and died. So it seems as though it all came out fair and square at the last.

Now, let's make with the read-alonging!


  1. hastily researched info on Laura's blog was incorrect. I skimmed wikipedia and found two daughters, but not a third.

    My CURRENT theory is that Collins and Dickens aided each other in being the kind of ridiculously-awful-in-their-personal-lives people they were. Like "Oh, he's doing it, so it's ok."

    BUT I am determined to not let this impact how I see WiW.

    Also, oeuvre? Fancy. And the Anne and Diana analogy is the best ever.

  2. I don't know why, but the word oeuvre never fails to make me giggle.

    If reality television existed back then, a Wilkie and Charles show would have been superentertaining.  They're like the 19th century equivalent of  Pauly D and the Situation.  Except, you know, with more intellectual conversation and fewer six-packs. 


    *takes over everyone's comment sections*

  4. When you say oeuvre, you have to turn your nose up and pretend to be wearing a beret. That's my rule.

    Also, I love your analogy so much more than mine...because I actually LIKE Anne and Diana and do not wish to sully their names with a comparison to two skeezeballs. Since Pauly D and the Situation are ALREADY skeezeballs, BINGO!

  5. I think you're right...they just kept using each other as a moral compass and ended up somewhere in the seventh circle of hell before they even knew what was happening. And now they will be there FOREVER. *evil laugh that starts quiet and gets really really really loud and probably lasts a little too long and makes everyone feel awkward*

    I'm about 50 pages in and I have laughed out loud more than once. It's very promising, indeed.

  6. I like to use an overdone French accent when saying it.

  7. My excitement about the readalong far far surpasses Hugh Laurie's! VERY EXCITED!

    Also... I know Dickens was a douche but I'm not really sure why... I just know that his books scare me, which is enough of a reason to hate his face. Stupid Dickens.

  8. bosom friends of... bosoms, well that's always a very nice way to put it... I hope the douchecanoe tendencies don't taint the book too much!  Happy reading!

  9. I COULD tell you how Dickens earned his bad reputation...but I know how much Alice enjoys this topic. I humbly refer you to her expertise (which means she'll probably show you a Sue Perkins video).

  10. To put it delicately. ; )

    This book is SO GOOD...I'm trying not to get ridiculously far ahead, but I need to know what happens next. Wilkie, you sly devil.

  11. I COULD tell you how Dickens earned his bad reputation...but I know how much Alice enjoys this topic. I humbly refer you to her expertise (which means she'll probably show you a Sue Perkins video).