Synopses & Reviews
A delightful tale of thwarted ambition and forbidden love, A Rogues Life follows the fortunes of an endearing young man. Proffering his own take on picaresque storytellingand with many a grain of truth for twenty-somethings todaythis is Wilkie Collins at his entertaining best. Propelled into society by his ever-hopeful father, Frank Softly is introduced to a variety of professions in order to make his fortune. Not industrious by nature, however, Frank finds working life a challenge, and by his 25th birthday, he has failed medicine, portrait-painting, caricaturing, and even forgery. Disenchanted with life, he despairs of ever finding something to commit tountil he meets Alicia Dulcifer and her inexplicably wealthy father. The author of The Woman in White and The Moonstone, Wilkie Collins is widely regarded as the originator of the detective novel.
Regard for the lovers of the Old Masters, and for the moral well-being of society, forbids me to be particular about the nature of my labors, or to go into dangerous detail on the subject of my first failures and my subsequent success. I may, however, harmlessly admit that my Rembrandt was to be of the small or cabinet size, and that, as there was a run on Burgomasters just then, my subject was naturally to be of the Burgomaster sort.