Sunday, January 05, 2014

Poetic Injustice

By virtue of it being on top of the pile of books I unloaded from my boxes, I'm re-reading The Woman In White. You know, Wilkie Collins is someone to be sympathised with - he was quite scathing about Charles Dickens's unfinished final novel, saying people should focus more on the good stuff Dickens wrote when he was younger, and then when Collins realised he wasn't going to live to finish his own final book he hired another writer to finish it for him, giving him full details of what should happen.

And what does he get for this effort? The only books of his that are still in print are the good stuff he wrote when he was younger, and his final work gets grouped into a footnote of his biographies along the lines of 'Collins wrote a lot of other books in later life, but they were rubbish'. Meanwhile, Charles Dickens's complete works, including The Half-Finished Mystery Of Edwin Drood, can still be found in the Classics section of any good bookshop.

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