In one moment, every drop of blood in my body was brought to a stop… There, as if it had that moment sprung out of the earth, stood the figure of a solitary Woman, dressed from head to foot in white’
Almost a hundred and fifty years ago, Victorian readers opened Dickens’s weekly magazine All the Year Round to find the concluding installment of A Tale of Two Cities, and, immediately following it, the opening installment of a new novel with no author ascribed. They joined Walter Hartright on a night-time walk over Hampstead Heath, winding on moonlit paths until they reached some intersection. There they witnessed the first encounter between Walter Hartright and the mysterious Woman in White… Almost a hundred and fifty years later I got the same goosebumps the Victorian readers got when The Woman in White placed her hand on Walter’s shoulder!!!
It’s not difficult to see why the series was an immediate success with the Victorian public and made its 35-year-old author, Wilkie Collins an immediate celebrity!… and it’s not difficult to see why this Victorian novel continues to thrill us today!