Novels and Novelists

This short note was written by John Cordy Jeaffreson (1831-1901) in his two volume work Novels and Novelists from Elizabeth to Victoria London, 1858. It repeats the date of birth error in Bogue and reflects similar views about sensation fiction. It is possible that Jeaffreson wrote that entry too. He certainly had read it.


The distinguished son and biographer of William Collins, R.A., was born in London in 1825. Besides his excellent life of his father he has produced "Antonina, or the Fall of Rome. A Romance of the fifth century," "Rambles beyond Railways," "Bazil; a story of modern life," "Mr. Wray’s Cash Box," "Hide and Seek," and "After Dark," &c. &c. He is also the author of two very remarkable dramas, "The Lighthouse and "The Frozen Deep," which have been performed several times by Mr. Charles Dickens’s amateur theatrical corps. "The Lighthouse" has also been put on the stage with success at the Olympic Theatre.

It is needless to say that Mr. Wilkie Collins is generally regarded as a man of commanding genius, and one destined to occupy a principal place in the republic of letters. For some time past his writing would lead one to think him as morbidly enamoured of the horrible and revolting as Edgar A. Poe, but we believe that in composing his terrible stories of crime and passion, he is only passing through a phase of mental existence, that will be followed by the production of far nobler works than any that have as yet come from his pen.

From Novels and Novelists J Cordy Jeaffreson II p345

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