The Black Robe

The Black Robe

by Wilkie Collins


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The Black Robe is an 1881 epistolary novel by famed English writer, Wilkie Collins. The book relates the misadventures of Lewis Romayne, and is also noted for a perceived anti-Catholic bias.

As the story begins, Romayne and his friend, Major Hynd, are in Boulogne to visit Romayne's aunt, who is dying. While there, Romayne attends a card game, where he has an argument with a corrupt card sharp, the General, who challenges him to a duel. However, the general doesn't turn up himself but nominates his son, an accurate shot, who should win the duel. Romayne absolutely does not want to fight but is goaded into doing so. Against the odds, he accidentally kills his opponent, and the screams of the man's brother after the death come to haunt Romayne for the rest of his life.

Romayne returns to his Yorkshire home, called Vange Abbey. Even in his own home, the Frenchman's younger brother's awful cries follow him. He finally leaves for London, to visit his old friend Lord Loring, who is the patriarch of a well-heeled Catholic family. While there, he meets Stella Eyrecourt, who falls in love with him. A Catholic priest named Father Benwell, who serves as a spiritual leader for the Lorings, determines that he will convert Romayne to the church, employing the services of young priest, Arthur Penrose, to this end. This is all done in an attempt to bring Romayne's family home, Vange, back to the church, who owned it before Romayne's family.

Romayne, who is still haunted by the duel, sends Major Hynd to enquire about the family of the man he killed in hopes of assisting them monetarily. Additionally, he confides in Penrose who becomes a true friend to Romayne, despite his presumed ulterior motives.

Father Benwell employs various tactics to undermine Romayne's marriage to Stella, finally culminating in the revelation of Stella's prior bigamous marriage to Bernard Winterfield. Winterfield had fallen in love with Stella and married her while erroneously believing that his wife from a previous marriage was dead.

Eventually, Romayne is promoted to an ecclesiastical post in Paris. However, knowing that he is dying, Romayne finally decides to see Stella and his son. Father Benwell brings Romayne's lawyer to his deathbed, trting to confirm the validity of the will in an attempt to ensure the church inherits Vange. But as he dies, Romayne acknowledges he loves his wife and child, and has the will destroyed. This causes Vange—and the entire inheritance—to pass to his family, foiling Benwell's plans.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9789353367657
Publisher: Astral International Pvt. Ltd.
Publication date: 06/10/2019
Pages: 250
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.57(d)

About the Author

William Wilkie Collins (1824 - 1889) was an English novelist, playwright and short story writer. His best-known works are The Woman in White (1859), No Name (1862), Armadale (1866) and The Moonstone (1868). The last is considered the first modern English detective novel.

Born into the family of painter William Collins in London, he lived with his family in Italy and France as a child and learned French and Italian. After his first novel, Antonina, was published in 1850, he met Charles Dickens, who became a close friend, mentor and collaborator. Some of Collins's works were first published in Dickens' journals All the Year Round and Household Words and the two collaborated on drama and fiction.

Collins was critical of the institution of marriage and never married; he split his time between Caroline Graves, except for a two-year separation, and his common-law wife Martha Rudd, with whom he had three children.

Date of Birth:

December 8, 1824

Date of Death:

September 23, 1889

Place of Birth:

London, England

Place of Death:

London, England


Studied law at Lincoln¿s Inn, London

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The Black Robe. 3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
nordie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I realised part way through that I had read this book before but couldnt remember what happened.This is the story of a troubled man, whose life and soul are literally torn between his wife and the catholic priests who are attempting to convert him to Catholicism (in order to gain the lands he inherited that had been removed from the Church by Henry VIII).Big power struggles, points of law between UK civil and Catholic law (when are people married and divorced? and what happens if someone dies in-testate). People seeming to run around half of Europe in the matter of hours (Paris one day, London the next - we havent got much better with the Chunnel, really have we?). Great to have money innit?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'll make it up to you. -heads back to camp-
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Well news flash im not innocent" gets his firey blade out and readys it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Starts to walk to camp
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bo<_>ob Pillow. xD
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No, I have no idea who the Shades are.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Alright. Meanwhile, l will ask Hades for help in the Underworld.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Kicks open the door"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
That way*Pointed to it* go slow, be ready.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Oh im so sorry. My family calle me into the living room and we had this huge discussion over how I need to respect them more even though my dad wasnt there for thirteen years of my life." She bows her head ashamed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Walks in