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The Law and the Lady

The Law and the Lady by Wilkie Collins
By: (1824-1889)

Valeria Brinton marries Eustace Woodville despite objections from Woodville's family leading to disquiet for Valeria's own family and friends.

Just a few days after the wedding, various incidents lead Valeria to suspect her husband is hiding a dark secret in his past and she discovers that he has been using a false name. He refuses to discuss it leading them to curtail their honeymoon and return to London where Valeria learns that he was on trial for his first wife's murder by arsenic. He was tried in a Scottish court and the verdict was 'Not Proven' rather than 'not guilty' implying his guilt but without enough proof for a jury to convict him.

Valeria sets out to save their happiness by proving her husband innocent of the crime. In her quest, she comes across the disabled character Miserrimus Dexter, a fascinating but mentally unstable genius, and his devoted female cousin, Ariel. Dexter will prove crucial to uncovering the disturbing truth behind the mysterious death.

First Page:


by Wilkie Collins



IN offering this book to you, I have no Preface to write. I have only to request that you will bear in mind certain established truths, which occasionally escape your memory when you are reading a work of fiction. Be pleased, then, to remember (First): That the actions of human beings are not invariably governed by the laws of pure reason. (Secondly): That we are by no means always in the habit of bestowing our love on the objects which are the most deserving of it, in the opinions of our friends. (Thirdly and Lastly): That Characters which may not have appeared, and Events which may not have taken place, within the limits of our own individual experience, may nevertheless be perfectly natural Characters and perfectly probable Events, for all that. Having said these few words, I have said all that seems to be necessary at the present time, in presenting my new Story to your notice.

W. C.

LONDON, February 1, 1875.



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Reviews (Rated: 5 Stars - 1 review)

Reviewer: - January 6, 2016
Subject: Good story I cannot hear
While I appreciate the time and effort of the readers, I truely wish they would think about the listener. I can't continue listening to this story. Rapid fire speech, rapid long sentences means I do not as a listener get to comprehend 1/10th of the story. Will have to wait until another reader records this. Sad.. sounds like a good story.

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