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Man and Wife

Wilkie Collins

Book Overview: 

This novel by Wilkie Collins centers around a peculiarity of Scottish law of that time, according to which any man and woman 'who were legally entitled to marry and who asserted that they were married before witnesses, or in writing, were regarded in Scotland as being married in law.' This strange law causes the characters Arnold and Geoffrey both possibly accidentally marrying Anne, though one is engaged to another woman and the other is searching for a more wealthy wife to accomodate his lifestyle. In these circumstances, Anne needs to catch an actual husband in order to save her reputation.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .whether he came as friend or enemy to the inn.


THE doubt was practically decided before Anne had determined what to do. She was still at the window when the sitting-room door was thrown open, and Sir Patrick appeared, obsequiously shown in by Mr. Bishopriggs.

"Ye're kindly welcome, Sir Paitrick. Hech, Sirs! the sight of you is gude for sair eyne."

Sir Patrick turned and looked at Mr. Bishopriggs—as he might have looked at some troublesome insect which he had driven out of the window, and which had returned on him again.

"What, you scoundrel! have you drifted into an honest employment at last?"

Mr. Bishopriggs rubbed his hands cheerfully, and took his tone from his superior, with supple readiness,

"Ye're always in the right of it, Sir Paitrick! Wut, raal wut in that aboot the honest employment, and me drifting into it. Lord's. . . Read More

Community Reviews

They don't write 'em like this anymore.

What the endorsers of 'the good old days' tend to forget, and the view explored through the character of Sir Patrick, is that the past has always looked better than the present. So as a modern reader of fiction from the 1800's, it was interesting to see that al

Not my favorite Wilkie Collins but nontheless a great classic book dealing with themes unique to the era. You can always rely on Collins to keep you guessing until the end. Suspense fiction got started with this author and as a contemporary/rival of Dickens you can expect a good read.

A really strong Wilkie Collins. Dramatic, pacy and exciting with fantastic characterisation.

Wilkie Collins is not a favorite Victorian writer for me but this is definitely a standout book from the six I’ve read by him. The theme of justice in this novel is fascinating and the last line is deliciously fitting. I’m so glad I’ll get to discuss this with my Patreon group soon. I read the last

Yet another Wilkie Collins years ahead of its time. Seriously: why does everyone think Charles Dickens is the greatest English Victorian novelist?? After The Law and the Lady's feminist heroine, we now have a novel which deals with the terrible situation many 19th century women found themselves in w


My recent reading of Wilkie Collins’s Man and Wife was a great illustration of what a good idea it can be to come to novels in a state of blithe ignorance, without any idea of how they are conventionally regarded.

Published in 1870, Man and Wife is apparently often seen as representing an early inst

¡Impresionante!, una novela de 700 páginas en el que básicamente se centra en un solo tema, que es la escabrosa ley matrimonial que había en Escocia en aquellos tiempos y lo hace con tal detalle, descripción de cada momento intenso, cada mirada, cada pensamiento, cada situación, que mientras lo lees

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