The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins–still more

But wait! What if . . .

SPOILER ALERT: do not read this ramble while I think over
what might be answers to this mystery . . .

What about this?  just talking out loud, mind you.  Maybe Laura’s
father, Philip Fairlie, was the father of the Woman in White.  After all,
we’ve got to account for this remarkable likeness between Laura and the
W in W.  Maybe years ago (before you were born) Philip met a woman–
she might have been a housemaid at the time–and never realized that
a child had been the result.  Maybe no one ever told him, and this little
girl was Anne Catherick. (W in W)

Would that mean that this little girl, Anne, would be the rightful heir
of his fortune, and *not* younger Laura?

Sir Perc. was a huge friend of Philip’s in those early days—and might
have learned of some of this secrecy . . .  And remember, he and the
mother knew each other—in fact, to “reward” her for her good work
for him and his family, he offered to make sure that Anne was placed in
a “good/private” asylum and he paid for it.  Hm.  I thought he was always
rather short of money–   So he might have known about this illegitimacy
issue.

I might be on to something, but still need time to sort it out.  Why was
Philip so absorbed in wishing Laura to marry Sir Percival?  Dying death
wish and so forth . . .

Yikes!  I just had to look up (on Google) the correct spelling of
Philip Fairlie—and that is RISKY work not to find out any spoilers
while checking that out!  Anyway, yes, it’s Philip—one l. (ell)
And I’m safe.  no spoilers.

What do you think?  Do you remember how it ends?  I hope
the book club is reading it.

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