Synopses & Reviews
Wilkie Collins (1824-1889) is best known as the innovator of the English detective novel, whose sensational novels, plays, and short stories were hugely popular in the Victorian Era. Today, readers enjoy Collins' intricate and suspenseful plots, and his penetrating social commentary on the plight of women and domestic issues of the time. Unfortunately Collins suffered from rheumatic gout, for which he took the opiate laudanum, and which eventually led to paranoid delusions and the deterioration of his health. Collins was writing "A Rogue's Life" during a stay in Paris, where he spent time with Charles Dickens, and said his "leisure hours were joyously passed with many other friends." The result is a playful, heroic tale that is a quick and joyfully entertaining read. The story was popular in its original periodical form, and was later revised and republished as a complete novel in 1879.