“The Woman in White” is a novel written by Wilkie Collins, a British author. First published as a serialized story in 1859, it is considered one of the earliest and most prominent examples of the mystery and sensation fiction genres.
The story revolves around the mysterious events that unfold after a chance encounter on a London road. Walter Hartright, an art teacher, helps a woman dressed in white who appears distressed and lost. This encounter sets off a series of intricate and suspenseful events involving mistaken identity, hidden secrets, and a Gothic atmosphere.
The central mystery of “The Woman in White” revolves around the enigmatic figure of Anne Catherick, who shares a striking resemblance to another character, Laura Fairlie. Laura is engaged to Sir Percival Glyde, a man with a hidden agenda, and Walter Hartright becomes involved in uncovering the truth behind the strange occurrences surrounding Laura, Anne, and Sir Percival.
The novel is praised for its intricate plotting, suspenseful narrative, and complex characters. It employs multiple narrators, each offering their own perspective on the events, which adds layers of intrigue and ambiguity to the story. Collins’ writing skillfully combines elements of mystery, psychological suspense, and social critique.
“The Woman in White” is considered a precursor to the modern detective and thriller genres and has had a significant influence on subsequent literature. The novel is celebrated for its portrayal of strong, independent female characters and its exploration of themes such as identity, class, and the power of societal constraints.
With its blend of mystery, romance, and psychological intrigue, “The Woman in White” remains a classic work of Victorian literature that continues to captivate readers with its suspenseful storytelling and exploration of the darker aspects of human nature.