Author(s): Wilkie Collins
This is the "Penguin English Library Edition" of "The Moonstone" by Wilkie Collins. 'Here was our quiet English house suddenly invaded by a devilish Indian Diamond - bringing after it a conspiracy of living rogues, set loose on us by the vengeance of a dead man'. When Rachel Verinder's birthday present - the Moonstone, a large Indian diamond - is stolen at her party, suspicion and the diamond's mysterious curse seem set to ruin everyone and everything she loves. Only Sergeant Cuff's famous detective skills offer any hope of peace and a future for them all. The intricate plot and modern technique of multiple narrators made Wilkie Collin's 1868 work a huge success in the Victorian sensation genre. With a reconstruction of the crime, red herrings and a 'locked-room' puzzle, "The Moonstone" was also a major precursor of the modern mystery novel. "The Penguin English Library" - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.
Wilkie Collins (1824-89) was a prolific novelist, playwright and short-story writer. Born into a family of artists, in later life the writer of thirty novels and lifelong friend of Charles Dickens became addicted to opium, which he took to help relieve the severe pain of 'rheumatic gout', a form of arthritis. He began to suffer from paranoia and hallucinations, including the presence of a 'subjective doppelganger' he named Ghost Wilkie, and the drug plays a prominent part in The Moonstone. The Woman in White is also published in the Penguin English Library.