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The King of Inventors

‘Catherine Peters has painted the first readable portrait of Collins as a human being’ -Françoise Rivière,European.

Born Thursday, 8th January in 1824, William ‘Wilkie’ Collins’ birth coincided with a period of change: where Romanticism was being overtaken by respectability.

Collins’s early life was surrounded by friends and family who were all writers or painters.

Unlike his father, Wilkie was more determined to become a writer. Although his father was diligent that both his sons would have a good education, Wilkie believed that further travels would aid his ambitions.

Italy was the source of his greatest inspiration.

Having travelled and lived there with his family, Wilkie was familiar with the culture and language.

Although his writing career was taking off, things were not smooth. Following rejections from publishers, his mother willingly helped him financially.

Wilkie met Charles Dickens through his endeavours and learnt a lot about marketing, and over time, they became good friends. Dickens proved to be rather instrumental in Wilkie’s career.

The King of Inventors gives an in-depth and engrossing insight of Wilkie Collins’ life, loves and legacy.

Praise for Catherine Peters

‘Peters presents an intelligent and comprehensive account of his work’ – Claire Tomalin, Independent on Sunday

‘Catherine Peters is a careful biographer’ – William St Claire, The Financial Times

‘…an illuminating insight’ – Hugh Massingberd, Daily Telegraph

Catherine Peters is the author of Thackeray’s Universe (1987). She has written introductions to Everyman editions of Vanity Fair by W. M. Thackeray (1991), and The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins (1992) and edited and introduced Armadale(1989) and Hide and Seek (forthcoming) in the World’s Classics series. She lives in Oxford and taught English literature at Somerville College, Oxford, from 1981 to 1992. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

The Odyssey Press is a literary imprint of Endeavour Press – the UK’s leading independent digital publisher. We publish new and classic literary fiction, literary biographies and works with literary tropes and themes.

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