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The Queen of Hearts (Barnes & Noble Digital Library)
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The Queen of Hearts (Barnes & Noble Digital Library)

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  128 ratings  ·  11 reviews
The title story weaves an overarching narrative through several tales by which a young woman, Jessie Wales, is convinced to extend her visit with her former guardian and his two brothers. The three brothers promise to tell Jessie a new story each evening, thus detaining her until the guardian's son can return and declare his love. This volume also includes the story "Mr. L ...more
ebook, 612 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by Barnes & Noble (first published January 1st 1976)
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Although it took me months to finish reading this collection of short stories by Wilkie Collins, I still found most of it to be delightful. I just LOVED the framework of this book. Three old men are entertaining a young lady, Jessie Yelverton. (I believe one of the men is one of her guardians?). As her visit draws to a close, one of the men in hopes of keeping her around just long enough for his son to return home--he would love to have her for a daughter-in-law--proposes that she stay for ten m ...more
Griffith, a widower and retired lawyer, finds himself the sole legal guardian of Jessie, a spritly, young woman set on lighthearted adventure. According to her late father's will she must spend six weeks per year with her guardian if she is to gain full access to her inheritance. So she sets out to one of the most desolate and remote areas of Britain to live for six weeks with Griffith and his two older brothers.

Will the three old men manage to keep the young lady entertained and comfortable in
It took me a few months to finish this book, however because the novel is really just ten separate short stories set into the framework of a novel it was not a problem and I didn't have the problem of losing the story line. The framework for the novel is that a young girl is required by her late father's will to spend a certain amount of time with an aged gentleman her father named as one of her guardians and his two bachelor brothers in a remote area of Wales. While she's staying there the guar ...more
A remote castle in Wales inhabited by three older men is the last place on earth that a young, lively girl of 18 would want to spend time. And yet, when forced by circumstances to take up residence there for six weeks prior to coming of age, Jessie surprises them all by finding immense enjoyment in the experience and by capturing each of her adopted uncles' hearts. As the time grows near for her to return to England, the three brothers find it necessary to trick her into prolonging her stay unti ...more
It's not The Woman in White, but it's entertaining. Some stories are good and some are bad, but I particularly enjoyed the way Ann Rodway in the last story reminded me of the (awesome) protagonist of The Woman in White (not yet written at this time if I'm not mistaken). The framing story was also cute and even a bit suspenseful. I like how Collins seems to play with short story framing conventions--so many of the classics of the genre (see the Decameron, Heptameron) basically have their characte ...more
Sam Uppala
Wilkie Collins at his best...a collection of short stories cleverly woven into another.
This was the first book of "short stories" by Wilkie Collins I have read, and I loved it! The main plot was a great game of tricking someone into staying for her own happiness and that of a beloved son, and the short stories that were told throughout were funny, sad, romantic and very interesting. They all varied in plot and style, and I loved how none of them fit together except in their purpose: to encourage Jessie to stay.
I actually read this as a free downloaded on Kindle. There is no mention of Charles Dickens. It begins with a letter of dedication to Emile Forgues, who translated the book into French.

The opening line: "WE were three quiet, lonely old men, and SHE was a lively, handsome young woman, and we were at our wits' end what to do with her."
Another great book by Wilkie Collins.
Rhonda Pearson
Fun read - stories within a story.
Always enjoy Wilkie Collins
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A close friend of Charles Dickens' from their meeting in March 1851 until Dickens' death in June 1870, William "Wilkie" Collins was one of the best known, best loved, and, for a time, best paid of Victorian fiction writers. But after his death, his reputation declined as Dickens' bloomed. Now, Collins is being given more critical and popular attention than he has received for fifty years. Most of ...more
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