Wilkie Collins spent almost all his life living in one square mile of London in the district known as Marylebone.
He was born there, lived there with both the women he loved, and died there.

Several of the houses which Wilkie lived in still stand, including two of the Marylebone homes he shared with Caroline Graves, the woman he lived with for most of his adult life. The other extant homes are those he shared with his parents and, after his father's death, his mother. The many other places he lived - including his birthplace and those of his children - are now, sadly, gone.

During much of his life he maintained two establishments. In one he lived under his own name with Caroline Graves and her daughter Harriet. Caroline was at different times known as his housekeeper and secretary. They were, of course, lovers - certainly for much of the time. From the late 1860s he set up a separate establishment with Martha Rudd. There he was known as William Dawson, barrister-at-law. Martha was known as Mrs Dawson, and their three children also took that name.

Anyone seeking out these homes should be aware that the names of streets and the numbering of houses have both changed over the last 150 years. The present houses and streets are not necessarily the original ones. The addresses given here are the original ones. The current addresses - where known - are in the detailed essays. Some dates overlap a little because Wilkie sometimes had more than place where he stayed or wrote letters from.

Where Wilkie Lived 1.21 19 March 1999

All material on these pages is © Paul Lewis 1998, 1999