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No Name

No Name by Wilkie Collins
By: (1824-1889)

The story begins in 1846, at Combe-Raven in West Somersetshire, the country residence of the happy Vanstone family. When Andrew Vanstone is killed suddenly in an accident and his wife follows shortly thereafter, it is revealed that they were not married at the time of their daughters' births, making their daughters "Nobody's Children" in the eyes of English law and robbing them of their inheritance. Andrew Vanstone's elder brother Michael gleefully takes possession of his brother's fortune, leaving his nieces to make their own way in the world. Norah, the elder sister, accepts her misfortune gracefully, but the headstrong Magdalen is determined to have her revenge. Using her dramatic talent and assisted by wily swindler Captain Wragge, Magdalen plots to regain her rightful inheritance.

First Page:


by Wilkie Collins

[editorial note: italics are indicated by the underscore character; accent marks in the few words in French are omitted; the umlaut in Zurich is omitted]


THE main purpose of this story is to appeal to the reader's interest in a subject which has been the theme of some of the greatest writers, living and dead but which has never been, and can never be, exhausted, because it is a subject eternally interesting to all mankind. Here is one more book that depicts the struggle of a human creature, under those opposing influences of Good and Evil, which we have all felt, which we have all known. It has been my aim to make the character of "Magdalen," which personifies this struggle, a pathetic character even in its perversity and its error; and I have tried hard to attain this result by the least obtrusive and the least artificial of all means by a resolute adherence throughout to the truth as it is in Nature. This design was no easy one to accomplish; and it has been a great encouragement to me (during the publication of my story in its periodical form) to know, on the authority of many readers, that the object which I had proposed to myself, I might, in some degree, consider as an object achieved... Continue reading book >>

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Reviews (Rated: 5 Stars - 1 review)

Reviewer: - April 1, 2014
Wonderfull book! Thanks

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