As usual, I have to hand it to Alice. She always chooses entertaining books for us to read together. Having read The Moonstone with her and her friends, i was pleasantly surprised to see her latest choice is a biography of Wilkie Collins subtitled A Life of Sensation by Andrew Lycett. I even paid more to get the good cover.
Wilkie was about a dozen years younger than his even more famous soon-to-be BFF, Charles Dickens. We have covered the first ‘epoch’ as Lycett divides Collins’ life with a glimpse of the future in the preface. That glimpse reveals gout in his eyes — ow, ow, owww. That sounds horrible. I didn’t even know that could happen. So far we’ve gotten his youth – rough times with his painter father who wanted his son to have a practical job and be far less irreligious. Doesn’t it seem odd that his father, the artist, disapproved of writing as a career? I find this really weird. Wilkie wanted to travel and write and partly go to sea. He didn’t and I suspect that’s because he quite liked a comfortable life. Writing home for money when he’d spent all they’d given him, he seems fairly spoiled. But then, what good would it have been for him to be an excellent tea dealer and we have no Woman in White? No good at all.
I believe we are in for an entertaining life now he’s grown, started writing and is just about to meet Dickens. They both love theater and writing. It’s gonna be true love, for sure. I don’t have much to say about this first part. I’ll try to be more entertaining next epoch.