Book Review: The Queen of Hearts by Wilkie Collins (three stars)

Book Review: The Queen of Hearts by Wilkie Collins (three stars)

‘It was impossible to reform the “Queen of Hearts,” and equally impossible not to love her. Such, in few words, was my fellow-guardian’s report of his experience of our handsome young ward.’ 

Published in 1859. Scheherazade without the interlocking stories. The framing story is simple and obvious. Interesting rather than enjoyable.

‘It is not wonderful that the public should rarely know how to estimate the vast service which is done to them by the production of a good book, seeing that they are, for the most part, utterly ignorant of the immense difficulty of writing even a bad one.’ 

Mostly mysteries, but a pleasant mix of female protagonists, humor, and surprise climaxes leaven thew nineteenth century English fare.

‘In the course of my wanderings I had learned to speak French as fluently as most Englishmen.’

Which, of course, means not at all. Like most Americans. Reflects the prejudices and mores of its time.

‘We most of us soon arrive at a knowledge of the extent of our strength, but we may pass a lifetime and be still ignorant of the extent of our weakness.’

2 thoughts on “Book Review: The Queen of Hearts by Wilkie Collins (three stars)

  1. I’ve known about Wilkie Collins forever – never managed, when I was young, to find a copy (probably didn’t try too hard) because there were other British detective stories available; and now don’t have the energy for historical curiosities, BUT his name is still known as the author of the first detective story – and that’s not nothing.

Comments are closed.