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No Name

Wilkie Collins

Book Overview: 

The story begins in 1846, at Combe-Raven in West Somersetshire, the country residence of the happy Vanstone family. When Andrew Vanstone is killed suddenly in an accident and his wife follows shortly thereafter, it is revealed that they were not married at the time of their daughters' births, making their daughters "Nobody's Children" in the eyes of English law and robbing them of their inheritance. Andrew Vanstone's elder brother Michael gleefully takes possession of his brother's fortune, leaving his nieces to make their own way in the world. Norah, the elder sister, accepts her misfortune gracefully, but the headstrong Magdalen is determined to have her revenge. Using her dramatic talent and assisted by wily swindler Captain Wragge, Magdalen plots to regain her rightful inheritance.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Her tears," said Norah, softly.

Miss Garth's head drooped low over the mute revelation of Magdalen's return to her better self.

"Oh, never doubt her again!" pleaded Norah. "We are alone now—we have our hard way through the world to walk on as patiently as we can. If Magdalen ever falters and turns back, help her for the love of old times; help her against herself."

"With all my heart and strength—as God shall judge me, with the devotion of my whole life!" In those fervent words Miss Garth answered. She took the hand which Norah held out to her, and put it, in sorrow and humility, to her lips. "Oh, my love, forgive me! I have been miserably blind—I have never valued you as I ought!"

Norah gently checked her before she could say more; gently whispered, "Come with me into the garden—come, and help Magdalen to look patiently to the future."

The future! Who could see the faintest glimmer of it? Who. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Everything in the Vanstone household is just tickety boo until a) father dear is killed in a train crash and b) mama dear dies in childbirth so c) their two lovely daughters are orphaned and there are complications whereby the estate is inherited by the estranged older brother who couldn't give a...more

When I turned the last page of "No Name" my first thought was " Why did I take so long to read this book?, so much time wasted!"
My only Collins experience had been some years ago with "The woman in white" and I wasn't disappointed. But I don't know why I kept postponing starting this novel,...more

Love you Mr Collins! You never cease to amaze me with your writing and uncanny ability to suck me into your books which look to be a million pages, but read as if they are a few hundred. I so enjoy the fact that you have always shown a respect and concern for women and you present them, while oft...more

Maybe 3.5. I enjoyed the plot, but sometimes felt Wilkie Collins was writing about the wrong characters - the book focuses on one of two sisters, Magdalene, while I wanted to hear about the other sister, Norah. Nonetheless, the plot is gripping and intriguing, the ending lovely, and the explorati...more

My second Wilkie Collins and I enjoyed this as much as The Woman In White; he was quite the story teller!

Todo el mundo ama esta novela, y es una pena que yo no haya logrado disfrutar de esta historia tanto como esperaba, logró entretenerme, pero creo que no permanezca mucho tiempo en mi memoria...

Hay dos razones por las que 'Sin nombre' no ha terminado de cuajar conmigo, la primera, el e...more

Wilkie Collins!

I should mention that this guy is one hell of an interesting writer if I can go by anything said by Dan Simmons in Drood, since the author is the main character!

Putting that all aside, which I probably should as it is a really, really bad idea in the first p...more

No Name is another beautiful book by Wilkie Collins. Touching on a different legal concept (this time illegitimacy) the book takes quite a different turn from his more famous work - The Woman in White. Merging a legal concept with a heart touching story seems to be Wilkie Collins's style. And...more

Before Wilkie Collins became an enormously successful novelist in the mid-nineteenth century, he studied law with the intent of becoming an attorney. Although he completed his studies he never actually practiced. His knowledge and interest in the field is revealed in the plots of many of his nove...more

Basically the plot a devastating legal issue. Norah and Magdalen parents are not legally married. Mr Vanstone was married before abroad and was unable to divorce.
The current Mr and Mrs lived together as husband and wife, finally made legal when the first wife died. Before they could make a...more

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