Saturday, 17 January 2009

Ooops, Big Error. how could I do that?

Oops. I was looking over my last post, and I thought, 'where's The Moonstone'? I'm sure The Suspicions of Mr Whicher talks about that book too. So I went to check and sure enough. The Woman in White was being published by Charles Dickens' magazine, the 33rd instalment, as Det Whicher gets on the train for Road Hill that July 1860 evening. The Moonstone wasn't written yet. Here is what the very first page of The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, which is the introduction, has to say:

"The Road Hill case turned everyone detective. It riveted the people of England, hundreds of whom wrote to the newspapers, to the Home Secretary and to Scotland Yard with their solutions. It helped shape the fiction of the 1860s and beyond, most obviously Wilkie Collins' The Moonstone, which was described by TS Eliot as the first and best of all English detective novels. Whicher was the inspiration for that story's cryptic Sergeant Cuff, who has influenced nearly every detective hero since. Elements of the case surfaced in Charles Dicken's last, unfinished novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood." Introduction. (bold sentence is mine, for emphasis!!)

The Woman in White is more gothic in tone, as I recall. It certainly doesn't feature the police investigation so prominently, as The Moonstone does. And I have read both books, so I have no excuse for mixing them up in my review, but alas, I kept getting interrupted by my kids and husband that night while I was writing the post......and I didn't do a final check in the book. So, for those of who about to read The Woman in White thinking it is the best and first detective novel, please don't!!! It's The Moonstone.

So please accept my apologies! The Woman in White is a fun read, but it's not a detective story!


Nymeth said...

Well, I'll read both :P The Woman in White was already on my plans for this year anyway, and now The Moonstone is too.

Also, I remembered the book! It's by the author of The Terror, Dan Simmons, and it's called Drood:

"Drood, in the tradition of The Terror, is a unique mix of history, biography, and dark fantasy, but where The Terror dealt with an actual doomed Arctic expedition in 1848, Drood looks at the lives and secrets of Charles Dickens and his novelist friend Wilkie Collins in the period 1865-1870. History records that Dickens was in the terrible Staplehurst train accident of 1865 and suffered injuries - both physical and psychological -- from which he never recovered. He died suddenly on the fifth anniversary of that accident on June 9,1870.

Drood fictionally explores the dark secrets that came to obsess both Dickens and Wilkie Collins during those five years -- secrets that not only ended their long friendship but brought each writer to the brink of murder."

How awesome does that sound? More about it here.

Susan said...

nymeth: Wow! Oh, well, you are TOP of the bad blogger list now!!! I HAVE to get Drood...hmm, how many more days til January ends and I can buy books again? lol Drood sounds fabulous, right up our alley, doesn't it? thank you so much for telling me about it.
And I have to reread The Moonstone now that I know more about Sergent Cuff's real life basis. Probably not this year, looking at my TBR shelf (I think i counted 80 books on it!), so possibly next year.

DesLily said...

ahhh woman in white is in my tbr pile..along with quite a few other "chunksters"~! if I get a few of these read this year I will be happy!