Alex Massie

The Woman in White

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I've had Wilkie Collins on my To Read list for, well, for years now. Somehow it's never happened. And with a dozen or so still-not-finished books at the moment it would be foolish to add another to that menacing pile. On the other hand, it's 150 years since The Woman in White was first published by Charles Dickens's All Year Round (Does exactly what it says on the tin...) and so really one ought to read it this year...

The first episode appeared in the issue of November 26th 1959.Now some canny fellows are "re-publishing" the novel in serial form. Each week's episode will be available to read online here and you can also email them and they'll send a PDF of the chapter to you every week. Hurrah for the internets!

The web, in fact, would seem made for the return of the classic serial. (Indeed, didn't Stephen King write a novel that was published on the web, chapter by chapter, though available only to those who paid for it?) One can imagine how publishing a novel in serial form on the web could be one, though like everything in the future, niche, revenue stream for authors. It might pay better than some publishers...

Not the same, as Susan Hill says, as having the book or magazine in your paws but not nothing either. Anyway, I'm looking forward to making Mr Collins's acquaintance after all this, too long, time.


Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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