Claimed as the first detective story in the English language, Wilkie Collins weaves his classic mystery through a series of narratives by various characters in the book who had first-hand knowledge surrounding the disappearance of a large valuable yellow diamond (the Moonstone) from the room of its young owner, Rachel Verinder. Miss Verinder was bequeathed the diamond by a ne'er-do-well uncle who looted the jewel from the statue of the Hindu Moon God during the siege of Seringapatam-since which, Hindu Priests were bound and determined to recover the diamond and return it to its rightful place in the forehead of the statue of the god.
William Wilkie Collins (1824 - 1889) was a very popular Victorian novelist and a close friend and collaborator of Charles Dickens. Collins was a prolific writer, publishing not only novels, but many plays, short stories and works of non-fiction.
The son of a successful landscape artist, Collins developed a early interest in storytelling to disarm bullies at boarding school. As a child, Collins lived and traveled throughout Europe, and to please his father, became a lawyer. All major influences on his writing.
Collins sold his first short story at 19, his first novel at 24. Collins had a very successful career as a master of suspense with a distinct narrative voice, filled with social commentary. Wilkie Collins never actually practiced law, but his knowledge profoundly impacted his writing and he is considered one of the godfathers of the "Detective Novel".
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