Dear Wilkie,

Dear Wilkie,

How are you?  I am fine.
I just finished your book—The Woman in White and thought
I would drop a line . . .

Time sure has passed since you wrote it in 1859–and I have to
admit it read right along.  Well, maybe you could have trimmed the
whole 646 pages by a hundred or so.

Wilkie . . .what’s that short for?  Wilkomen?  No, that’s Dutch
or something for Welcome—-well, come in?

Not William, or was it?  Did your friends call you Willie?  Wilkie.
That’s a tough one–I really can’t imagine.  Think I’ll look it up
on Wikipedia . . .ah.  You *were* named William!  Wilkie was your
middle name, named after your godfather.  You chose to use that name.

It was interesting to read about your life—and I highly suggest it
to this reader, too.  I see that The Woman in White was made into
a movie—-and I watched about 30 seconds of it on youtube.  It
starts out with spooky music —but I never felt that unease when
I was reading the book—never.  Maybe the serial readers in the
1800s felt it though.  I don’t think I’ll watch the movie–I prefer
to keep the book the way I read it.

Did you know, Wilkie, that the book is considered one of the first
“sensation” novels?  There had been stories published before of
dire murders, poisonings, illegitimacy, and so forth, but the
horrendous events weren’t occurring in your own nice middle
class home!  With you, Wilkie, you brought that sly Sir Percival
and Count Fosco right into our house—staying in a bedroom right
down the hall.  They might lock an unsuspecting person in a bedroom!

And there was that underlying doubt of who was whom.  Identity.
That’s everything, isn’t it?

Hey–how did you ever come up with the character of Count Fosco?
Very entertaining—very clever of you—almost got me on that one.

Well, I just wanted to say I enjoyed your book.  It was the second
time I’ve read it.    I’ve read The Moonstone twice, too, and
The Law and the Lady  (once).  Can you tell I’m a fan of yours?

Yours truly,


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2 Responses to Dear Wilkie,

  1. Stefanie says:

    I love Count Fosco! He has got to be one of the best villains ever!

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