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The Moonstone, by Wilkie Collins, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classicsseries, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:
New introductions commissioned from todays top writers and scholars
Biographies of the authors
Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events
Footnotes and endnotes
Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work
Comments by other famous authors
Study questions to challenge the readers viewpoints and expectations
Bibliographies for further reading
Indices & Glossaries, when appropriate
All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences–biographical, historical, and literary–to enrich each readers understanding of these enduring works.
Alongside Edgar Allan Poe in America, Britain’s Wilkie Collins stands as the inventor of the modern detective story. The Moonstone introduces all the ingredients: a homey, English country setting, and a colorfully exotic background in colonial India; the theft of a fabulous diamond from the lovely heroine; a bloody murder and a tragic suicide; a poor hero in love with the heroine but suspected of the crime, who can’t remember anything about the night the jewel was stolen; assorted friends, relatives, servants, a lawyer, a doctor, a sea captain–suspects, all; and, most essentially, a bumbling local policeman and a brilliant if eccentric London detective. Adding spice to the recipe are unexpected twists, a bit of dark satire, a dash of social comment, and an unusual but effective narrative structure–eleven different voices relate parts of the tale, each revealing as much about himself (and, in one case, herself) as about the mystery of the missing Moonstone.
Filled with suspense, action, and romance, The Moonstone is as riveting and intoxicating today as it was when it first appeared more than a century ago.
Joy Connolly teaches in the Classics Department at New York University. Her recent research includes the history of rhetoric and political thought, and the relationship of literature and ethics. She writes book reviews for the New York Times and other publications.
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