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Heart and Science

Wilkie Collins

Book Overview: 

Heart and Science is one of Wilkie Collins' didactic novels. It is the story of young doctor Ovid Vere, who fights for his love against all resistance of his family and their immediate circle of acquaintances. The novel features a large inheritance, a secret engagement, and an evil stepmother, but what makes the novel truly remarkable is that Wilkie Collins, who was always very fond of animals, speaks out in this volume against animal cruelty in the sciences.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Your cousin, Mr. Ovid Vere, said it was no easy matter to decide where instinct ended and reason began. In his own experience, he had sometimes found people of feeble minds, who judged by instinct, arrive at sounder conclusions than their superiors in intelligence, who judged by reason. The talk took another turn—and, soon after, Doctor Benjulia joined the guests. I don't know whether you have observed that Mr. Gallilee is very fond of his stepson?"

Oh, yes! Carmina had noticed that. "I like Mr. Gallilee," she said warmly; "he is such a nice, kind-hearted, natural old man."

Miss Minerva concealed a sneer under a smile. Fond of Mr. Gallilee? what simplicity! "Well," she resumed, "the doctor paid his respects to the master of the house, and then he shook hands with Mr. Ovid; and then the scientific gentlemen all got round him, and had learned talk. Mr. Gallilee came up to his stepson, looking a little discomposed. He spoke in a whisper—you . . . Read More

Community Reviews

I have been reading a lot of Collins of late. One common feature in his books is the weak and silly heroine, who more than gets on your nerves, and a side character who is far more interesting (Miss Minerva) . The woman in white is an another instance.
A 31 year old doctor falling for a 17 year old

Publishers and reviewers seem to focus on the commentary on science, but it's not as big a part of the book as the reviews suggest. What you have here is a straightforward Gothic romance: nice girl's parents die so she is sent far away to live with people she's never known, meets a nice boy who disa

3.5 stars
Not my fave Collins, but it’s still Collins so even if enjoyment and engagement wise it’s a bit of a slog, this will undoubtably be a key text for my dissertation and there’s soooo much here I can’t wait to think about and unpack!!!!

This book was such a pleasant surprise! Based on the cover and even the description, you would not guess that its a rather funny Victorian tale of meddling step mothers and an Anti-Vivisection subplot ! Even the side characters were thoroughly fleshed-out and entertaining (I LOVED Zo)

The last secti

I think this is the first Wilke Collins book I had to force myself to keep reading. It was often very tiresome. But, it does have a detestable, greedy, guardian aunt you love to hate, a sweet father/husband/uncle who usually lets his horrible wife run the show, a lovely niece with a large inheritanc

Wilkie Collins; Heart and Science.
Originally published in 1883, this examines the conflict between faith, emotional intelligence & science. I found it extremely compelling and had real problems putting it down at night.
The other themes I figured were

English and her nurse who is Italian.
Mental heal

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