Saturday, September 10, 2011
Victorian Literature: The Frozen Deep
The Frozen Deep, by Wilkie Collins
Wilkie Collins and Charles Dickens originally produced The Frozen Deep together as a play, with each of them in the starring male roles. (Dickens was inspired by his role to create one of his most famous characters, but I'm not telling you who!) Collins then re-wrote his play as a novella.
It's the story of a young orphaned lady who firmly believes she has the Second Sight, to the exasperation of her friends. She is worried about the imminent arrival of Richard, who left on a voyage with the mistaken assumption that they would marry upon his return. Meanwhile, she has fallen in love with Frank, who is about to go out on an Arctic expedition. When Richard appears on the scene and she reminds him that he never asked about her feelings or gave her a chance to say anything, he swears revenge on her unknown love--and embarks on the same Arctic expedition. Will he realize who Frank is, and if he does, will he exact the murderous revenge he has promised?
This was a fun little read. It gives you a nice taste of Collins' style in a little package, so it would be great for someone just getting into Victorian literature, who might be intimidated by full-length novels.