Wilkie Collins, No Name

Stephen Knight (University of Melbourne)
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After his major success with

The Woman in White

(1860) Wilkie Collins was elected to the prestigious Athenaeum Club as a person “of distinguished eminence” (Lycett, 2013, 224). In spring 1861 he conceived a new novel, but illness slowed him down and it only began to appear, in serial format, in March 1862. Collins started without a title: Charles Dickens gave him a list of twenty-four suggestions but Collins settled on

No Name

, not on Dickens’ list. Though the title does suit the troubled heroine, perhaps there was also an element of irony in the choice.

A long sensation novel of nearly 300,000 words, the work is divided into eight “Scenes”, set in different locations, and seven “Between the Scenes” sequences, mostly letters and diary entries from different people – some of

2312 words

Citation: Knight, Stephen. "No Name". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 October 2022 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=9751, accessed 23 June 2024.]

9751 No Name 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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