Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
The Woman in White: Introduction
The Woman in White: Plot Summary
The Woman in White: Detailed Summary & Analysis
The Woman in White: Themes
The Woman in White: Quotes
The Woman in White: Characters
The Woman in White: Symbols
The Woman in White: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Wilkie Collins
Historical Context of The Woman in White
Other Books Related to The Woman in White
- Full Title: The Woman in White
- When Written: 1859
- Where Written: London, England
- When Published: 1860
- Literary Period: Victorian
- Genre: Sensation novel, mystery novel
- Setting: London, Cumberland, and Hampshire in England.
- Climax: The protagonist, Walter Hartright, discovers the secrets of and brings about the demise of two men, Count Fosco and Sir Percival Glyde, who have conspired against and stolen the fortune of Laura Fairlie, the woman Walter loves.
- Antagonist: Sir Percival Glyde and Count Fosco
- Point of View: First person (epistolary, or a novel told through letters)
Extra Credit for The Woman in White
School Bully. During his time at boarding school, Collins was picked on by a classmate who used to make Collins tell him stories before he went to sleep. Although this was a form of torment at school, Collins enjoyed making up stories and felt that this experience encouraged his subsequent career as a writer.
Political Activism. Like his friend and mentor Charles Dickens, Collins was horrified by the social injustices which he witnessed in Victorian England and used his novels to argue the necessity of social reforms, such as the rights of women and the treatment of mentally ill. His interest in these social issues, and his attacks on institutions like marriage, which he felt prevented reform, are particularly clear in The Woman in White.