No Words Wasted Sale
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores


    Recently Viewed clear list


    The Powell's Playlist | January 15, 2015

    Mary Helen Specht: IMG The Powell's Playlist: Mary Helen Specht



    Migratory Animals is mostly set in Texas during the first years of the most recent recession, when the cast of characters — an eclectic group... Continue »
    1. $10.49 Sale Trade Paper add to wish list

      Migratory Animals (P.S.)

      Mary Helen Specht 9780062346032

    spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$6.50
List price: $9.00
Used Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
2 Beaverton Mystery- A to Z

The Moonstone (Modern Library Classics)

by

The Moonstone (Modern Library Classics) Cover

ISBN13: 9780375757853
ISBN10: 0375757856
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

Only 2 left in stock at $6.50!

 

 

Excerpt

Collins: THE MOONSTONE

First Period the loss of the diamond (1848) The Events related by Gabriel Betteredge, House-Steward in the service of Julia, Lady Verinder

Chapter I

In the first part of Robinson Crusoe, at page one hundred and twenty-nine, you will find it thus written:

“Now I saw, though too late, the Folly of beginning a Work before we count the Cost, and before we judge rightly of our own Strength to go through with it.”

Only yesterday, I opened my Robinson Crusoe at that place. Only this morning (May twenty-first, Eighteen hundred and fifty), came my ladys nephew, Mr. Franklin Blake, and held a short conversation with me, as follows:—

“Betteredge,” says Mr. Franklin, “I have been to the lawyers about some family matters; and, among other things, we have been talking of the loss of the Indian Diamond, in my aunts house in Yorkshire, two years since. Mr. Bruff thinks, as I think, that the whole story ought, in the interests of truth, to be placed on record in writing—and the sooner the better.”

Not perceiving his drift yet, and thinking it always desirable for the sake of peace and quietness to be on the lawyers side, I said I thought so too. Mr. Franklin went on.

“In this matter of the Diamond,” he said, “the characters of innocent people have suffered under suspicion already—as you know. The memories of innocent people may suffer, hereafter, for want of a record of the facts to which those who come after us can appeal. There can be no doubt that this strange family story of ours ought to be told. And I think, Betteredge, Mr. Bruff and I together have hit on the right way of telling it.”

Very satisfactory to both of them, no doubt. But I failed to see what I myself had to do with it, so far.

“We have certain events to relate,” Mr. Franklin proceeded; “and we have certain persons concerned in those events who are capable of relating them. Starting from these plain facts, the idea is that we should all write the story of the Moonstone in turn—as far as our own personal experience extends, and no farther. We must begin by showing how the Diamond first fell into the hands of my uncle Herncastle, when he was serving in India fifty years since. This prefatory narrative I have already got by me in the form of an old family paper, which relates the necessary particulars on the authority of an eye-witness. The next thing to do is to tell how the Diamond found its way into my aunts house in Yorkshire, two years ago, and how it came to be lost in little more than twelve hours afterwards. Nobody knows as much as you do, Betteredge, about what went on in the house at that time. So you must take the pen in hand, and start the story.”

In those terms I was informed of what my personal concern was with the matter of the Diamond. If you are curious to know what course I took under the circumstances, I beg to inform you that I did what you would probably have done in my place. I modestly declared myself to be quite unequal to the task imposed upon me—and I privately felt, all the time, that I was quite clever enough to perform it, if I only gave my own abilities a fair chance. Mr. Franklin, I imagine, must have seen my private sentiments in my face. He declined to believe in my modesty; and he insisted on giving my abilities a fair chance.

Two hours have passed since Mr. Franklin left me. As soon as his back was turned, I went to my writing-desk to start the story. There I have sat helpless (in spite of my abilities) ever since; seeing what Robinson Crusoe saw, as quoted above—namely, the folly of beginning a work before we count the cost, and before we judge rightly of our own strength to go through with it. Please to remember, I opened the book by accident, at that bit, only the day before I rashly undertook the business now in hand; and, allow me to ask—if that isnt prophecy, what is?

I am not superstitious; I have read a heap of books in my time; I am a scholar in my own way. Though turned seventy, I possess an active memory, and legs to correspond. You are not to take it, if you please, as the saying of an ignorant man, when I express my opinion that such a book as Robinson Crusoe never was written, and never will be written again. I have tried that book for years—generally in combination with a pipe of tobacco—and I have found it my friend in need in all the necessities of this mortal life. When my spirits are bad—Robinson Crusoe. When I want advice—Robinson Crusoe. In past times, when my wife plagued me; in present times, when I have had a drop too much—Robinson Crusoe. I have worn out six stout Robinson Crusoes with hard work in my service. On my ladys last birthday she gave me a seventh. I took a drop too much on the strength of it; and Robinson Crusoe put me right again. Price four shillings and sixpence, bound in blue, with a picture into the bargain.

Still, this dont look much like starting the story of the Diamond—does it? I seem to be wandering off in search of Lord knows what, Lord knows where. We will take a new sheet of paper, if you please, and begin over again, with my best respects to you.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Denise Barnett, March 28, 2011 (view all comments by Denise Barnett)
Excellent! Considered the first detective novel, this book from the 1860's about the theft of the precious Moonstone, could have been written today. Wilkie Collins is credited with creating elements such as the "least likely person", the "red herring", and multiple wrong suspects. This epistolary book is told from several different narratives, each one sly and funny in their own way. The story of Rachel Verinder and the theft of her birthday gift, the Moonstone, keeps you guessing from beginning until the very last page!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Courtesy of Mother Daughter Book Club com, February 23, 2010 (view all comments by Courtesy of Mother Daughter Book Club com)
A diamond is stolen from the English country estate of Lady Verinder and the renowned Sergeant Cuff is brought in from London to help solve the case. The diamond, said to bring bad luck to its owner because it was stolen from a temple in India, was given to Lady Verinder’s daughter, Rachel, on her 18th birthday. It was bequeathed to Rachel from her uncle (who stole it when he was a young soldier) on his death. The story unfolds through several narrators, all of whom know a piece of what happened. As each of them writes his or her side of the story, the reader gets just a little more information that helps to solve the mystery.

Considered to be the first detective mystery, The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins offers a glimpse into the times it was written—the 1860s. It was published serially, with new pieces of the story unfolding one section at a time for around six months. It reveals the understandings held about English ladies and gentleman, especially the thought that no well brought up young man or woman could ever commit a crime. It touches on a common occurrence at the time, the looting of jewels by English soldiers from temples in India. And, it’s fun to read once you get into the rhythm of Collins’s writing style (writers at the time were paid by the word, so you won’t find sparse descriptions and conversations here).

Each narrator brought a different perspective and style that was refreshing, and each break kept the story moving in unexpected ways. My daughter and I both found it fun to guess what had happened the night of the theft and in the days following it. My guesses were invariably wrong, but that didn’t stop me from developing new theories as the story progressed. My daughter’s guess about the culprit was right, although neither of us anticipated some of the twists and turns The Moonstone took before the mystery was actually resolved.

The Moonstone is longer reading for mother-daughter book clubs, but it is easily divided into two separate sections that can be discussed at two different meetings. Groups could read The Loss of the Diamond, then gather to discuss their theories about what happened. They could also write predictions down and compare them to what actually happened during the rest of the book when they meet again. I recommend The Moonstone for reading groups with girls aged 14 and up.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
View all 2 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780375757853
Introduction:
Heilbrun, Carolyn G.
Publisher:
Modern Library
Introduction by:
Heilbrun, Carolyn G.
Introduction:
Heilbrun, Carolyn G.
Author:
Collins, Wilkie
Author:
Heilbrun, Carolyn G.
Location:
New York
Subject:
Classics
Subject:
Police
Subject:
England
Subject:
Mystery & Detective - Police Procedural
Subject:
Mystery fiction
Subject:
East Indians
Subject:
Jewelry theft
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
fiction;mystery;classic;19th century;classics;victorian;novel;crime;literature;england;british;detective;gothic;india;english literature;british literature;english;detective fiction;crime fiction;suspense;thriller;romance;wilkie collins;collins;1860s;thef
Subject:
ical fiction;epistolary;uk;diamonds;britain;sensation fiction;colonialism;diamond;indians;policier;historical;detective story
Subject:
fiction;mystery;classic;19th century;classics;victorian;novel;crime;literature;england;detective;british;gothic;india;english literature;british literature;english;detective fiction;crime fiction;suspense;thriller;romance;wilkie collins;collins;1860s;thef
Subject:
fiction;mystery;classic;19th century;classics;victorian;novel;crime;literature;england;detective;british;gothic;india;english literature;british literature;english;detective fiction;crime fiction;suspense;thriller;romance;wilkie collins;collins;1860s;thef
Subject:
fiction;mystery;classic;19th century;classics;victorian;novel;crime;literature;england;british;detective;gothic;india;english literature;english;british literature;detective fiction;crime fiction;suspense;thriller;collins;romance;wilkie collins;1860s;thef
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Modern Library Classics
Series Volume:
vol. VII, no 87.
Publication Date:
20010931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
528
Dimensions:
8.02x5.23x.93 in. .84 lbs.

Other books you might like

  1. Bleak House (64 Edition) Used Trade Paper $5.00
  2. Hide and Seek, Or, the Mystery of... Used Trade Paper $4.95
  3. Nana (Penguin Classics) Used Mass Market $4.50
  4. School Story Used Trade Paper $2.95
  5. The Riddle of the Sands: A Record of... Used Trade Paper $4.95
  6. Satan in Goray Used Trade Paper $5.50

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z

The Moonstone (Modern Library Classics) Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.50 In Stock
Product details 528 pages Modern Library - English 9780375757853 Reviews:
spacer
spacer
  • back to top

FOLLOW US ON...

     
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.