The Two Destinies

The Two Destinies

by Wilkie Collins


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Wilkie Collins's novel was published in 1876 and dedicated to Charles Reade. Collins explores the themes of 'destined spirits' and supernatural visions. He acknowledges taking the second idea from a case reported in Robert Dale Owen's Footfalls on the Boundary of another World. This describes how a ship's captain is convinced to change course after seeing an apparition and saves the passengers of a wrecked ship, including the person in the vision.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783337050436
Publisher: Bod Third Party Titles
Publication date: 04/25/2019
Pages: 314
Product dimensions: 5.83(w) x 8.27(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

William Wilkie Collins (8 January 1824 - 23 September 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. He worked as a clerk for a tea merchant. 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 published his best known works in the 1860s and achieved financial stability and an international reputation. During that time he began suffering from gout. After taking opium for the pain, he developed an addiction. During the 1870s and 1880s the quality of his writing declined along with his health.

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 Two Destinies 2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
atimco on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wilkie Collins is generally one of those writers who take a single concept and build an entire story around it. Though I would hesitate to lay this down as a rule for every novel he ever wrote, usually the reader can trace the bare-bones idea that provided a frame for Collins to clothe in plot and characters. For example, in Poor Miss Finch, the main theme is physical blindness. In No Name, Collins tackles the legal and social status of illegitimate children. And in The Two Destinies, my favorite Victorian sensationalist explores telepathy and supernatural communication between human beings. This subject is one that would naturally draw Collins, as he often employs a dash of the unearthly in his thrillers. But in this case, the story is secondary and far inferior to the idea ¿ the potential of which is sadly unrealized. Be advised that this review contains spoilers.Our main narrator (besides the opening frame narrator who reads diaries to us) is George, who from childhood has shared a deep, unearthly connection with the daughter of his father's bailiff. George and Mary are inseparable, and Mary's eerie Spiritualist grandmother prophesies that their tie is ordained by Heaven and cannot be broken by any earthly means. George's father (who had been away from home for most of George's childhood) forbids the relationship and takes George away, thus beginning a separation that would last for years. Throughout this time George and Mary sometimes hold supernatural communication in times of dire need, quite apart from their conscious will. Through a series of unlikely coincidences, George and Mary do eventually meet again, but do not recognize one another (imagine that). The ending is predictable ¿ indeed, it was prophesied right from the start.I was disappointed in this story for several reasons. Firstly, there just wasn't much to the plot. Collins spins it out much longer than necessary (and it isn't a particularly long book even with that), mostly by not allowing George and Mary to communicate clearly once they meet again under different names. What plot exists is contorted unnaturally with unnecessary characters and events, in order to lengthen what really is a very simple tale. Secondly, the characters are rather flat, with the exception of Mary's grandmother... and she exits the story promptly after giving her prophecy. Thirdly, part of the reason I read Collins is his talent for creating an ominous atmosphere and strong tension ¿ and he just didn't deliver here. The scenes of supernatural communication are repetitive after awhile, and I didn't find them all that spooky to start with.I did like the title; it has a nice sound to it. And it was amusing to consider the story as a "what-if" spin on Jane Austen's Colonel Brandon and Eliza, whose cruel separation in Sense & Sensibility provides a sad backstory to the Colonel's character. But unfortunately this story's weaknesses outweigh its good points, and it's a pity because I do love many of Collins' other books. I suppose it is inevitable that prolific authors will produce works which compare poorly to their other efforts. Not every Collins book can have the tension of The Woman in White or the sheer fun of The Moonstone. I can't recommend The Two Destinies except to completists like myself.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
readin a kiddy booo would of been better than this no joke
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