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Hide and Seek

Book cover
By: (1824-1889)

The artist Valentine Blyth has a very generous heart. He lovingly cares for his invalid wife, rescues a deaf orphan girl from maltreatment in a traveling circus and adopts her, and mentors a young man who gets in trouble with his tyrannical father. The girl, who received the nickname ‚Madonna’, falls in love with the young man, Zack. Because one of Valentine’s biggest fears is that Madonna’s blood relations will one day trace her and take her away from his home, he keeps the little that he knows of her origins a strict secret. One day, Zack befriends a mysterious stranger, who has just returned from years of rough life in the American wilderness. From that moment, the plot thickens, in mid-19th century dramatic style.

This is Wilkie Collins’ third published novel (1854, read from the 1861 edition).

First Page:

HIDE AND SEEK

By Wilkie Collins

TO

CHARLES DICKENS,

THIS STORY IS INSCRIBED,

AS A

TOKEN OF ADMIRATION AND AFFECTION,

BY HIS FRIEND,

THE AUTHOR.

PREFACE TO THE REVISED EDITION

This novel ranks the third, in order of succession, of the works of fiction which I have produced. The history of its reception, on its first appearance, is soon told.

Unfortunately for me, "Hide And Seek" was originally published in the year eighteen hundred and fifty four, at the outbreak of the Crimean War. All England felt the absorbing interest of watching that serious national event; and new books some of them books of far higher pretensions than mine found the minds of readers in general pre occupied or indifferent. My own little venture in fiction necessarily felt the adverse influence of the time. The demand among the booksellers was just large enough to exhaust the first edition, and there the sale of this novel, in its original form, terminated.

Since that period, the book has been, in the technical phrase, "out of print." Proposals have reached me, at various times, for its republication; but I have resolutely abstained from availing myself of them for two reasons... Continue reading book >>


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