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Hide and Seek

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  245 ratings  ·  22 reviews
In this gripping yarn by the great Victorian storyteller, a strange and wild woodsman investigates a gentle young woman'smysterious origins.A warm, entertaining tale that blends domestic comedy, pathos, humor, and a touch of social protest, this novel was praised by Charles Dickens as "a very remarkable book." ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published November 24th 2011 by Dover Publications (first published 1854)
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Anna Matsuyama
Hide and Seek (1854) is Wilkie Collins's third novel. In 1861 Collins's heavily revised and shortened the novel.

While the plot is quite predictable and with too much coincidence to be believable the story is a page turner nevertheless. It should be remembered that Collin's The Moonstone (1868) is considered to be the first detective novel in English language and that the author is one of the pioneers of the genre.

And it isn't the secret of Madonnas' parentage that keeps the readers' attention,
Richard Ward
I've yet to be disappointed by any of Wilkie Collins' novels. This one is dedicated to his friend Charles Dickens. Having read Claire Tomalin's biography of Dickens, I wish he'd have taken this novel to heart! It's about how judgmental people and grudge holders profoundly rob themselves of joy while doing lasting damage to others who don't deserve it. Yet it's also a beautiful story of friendship and of how forgiving others and accepting them in their weaknesses makes life worth living. Students ...more
My Inner Shelf
Publié en français sous le titre de Cache-cache, Hide and seek illustre des thèmes cher à Collins, la vengeance et le secret de famille. On ne change pas une recette efficace, surtout quand on a le talent inépuisable de Wilkie Collins. Deuxième livre de Wilkie lu en VO, joie inaltérable, si ce n’est un bug de pages emmêlées et un paragraphe disparu quelques pages avant le dénouement. Heureusement j’ai pu finir sur ma version papier de Phébus. Mais quand même, c’est énervant.

Toujours aussi habile
Jenni Strader
I have read almost everything Wilkie Collins has written. I was so excited when I found one I hadn't read. True, this being his third book, that it's not quite as good a mystery as his later work, but I found this story to be very intriguing. His character development is out of this world. His plot machinations are incredible, even in a simple "who's child is this?" story. His descriptions of the people and the settings always amaze me. I feel like I would know it if I ever stumbled upon his cit ...more
Collins' third novel was his first "mystery" novel, but like his next, The Dead Secret, it's not a conventional mystery as we know them today. Still, although there is no detective on the case, as Collins introduced in his most famous novel, The Moonstone, it's still very much a novel about detection, in this case the quest to discover the origins of the beautiful Mary, or Madonna, left as a newborn in the care of strangers when her mother dies by the roadside, starving as a result of her leavin ...more
The best of Collins's early novels (pre-TWiW) with some very memorable characters, chief among them Mat, the mysterious figure scalped by native Americans and who wears a black velvet skullcap to hide the top is his head. There are many of the components of the sensation novels of the 1860s already in place here, and the textual game of "hide and seek" constructed by Collins is always engaging. There were a few moments in the last 100 pages, however, where the momentum of the narrative seemed to ...more
A.L. Stumo
More similar to the social novels of Dickens than Collins' other works. I could easily imagine reading this in "Household Words."

I loved the layers of mystery. We have to find out more than just the prime mystery of Madonna's parentage. I won't spoil it for anyone, but read knowing you will be given several knots to untie.
Bill Cavanagh
Another very enjoyable tale by Collins. As usual the plot is a little contrived and full of 'unbelievable' coincidences. However, as ever, his characters are brilliant and it is a page turner. This is my fourth Wilkie Collins and I am looking forward to my next one.
What an awesome story! Loved the characters . .. especially Mat. He reminded me of a cross between Paul Bunyan and Huckleberry Finn and Davie Crockett.
Amazing authentic representation of a deaf character. Very interesting story line
Once you've accepted this author's reliance on coincidences, which frankly dominate all his novels, then this early work is, to me, better than the more famous later works - there isn't the superfluity of exposition that you get in Armadale or No Name. It's full of real, likeable people - Zack, Valentine, Mrs Peckover - and a real shocker in Joanna Grice, as malevolent an old crone as ever Dickens invented. This book is short, moves pacily, and has real heart, and I recommend it to anyone. Do re ...more
Helen Kitson
This, one of Collins' earlier novels, lacks the excitement of later novels such as The Woman in White and Armadale, but is not without merit. It tells the story of Mary Grice, a deaf and dumb girl rescued from a travelling circus by the kind-hearted painter Valentine Blyth and his invalid wife Lavinia. Mary's origins are shrouded in mystery. She was born illegitimate, and the only clue to her identity is a hair bracelet that Blyth keeps locked in his bureau. He lives in fear that some of her rel ...more
I enjoyed Hide and Seek, but the novel wasn't as engaging as Collins's two most famous novels, The Moonstone, and The Woman in White. However, Collins's characterization of Valentine Blyth has to be one of my of his characters. He is by far the best part of the book. Valentine, though an artist, isn't a tortured one. His relationship with his art, though passionate, isn't all-consuming. His love of his wife and adopted daughter are the ruling passions of his life. And this successful contrast of ...more
I'm beginning to wonder just how much I'd like The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins if I read it now. I thought it was pretty awesome when I read it about twenty years ago. But, having just finished Hide & Seek and finding it to be okay, but not spectacular and having read The Woman in White last year and being thoroughly underwhelmed....well. I do have to wonder.

Hide & Seek is centered on the mystery of Mary Grice (in fact, that is the subtitle for the novel). Mary, also known as Madonna, ha
While Hide and Seek pales in comparison to the best of Collins, I found it oddly engaging - a blend of domestic comedy and melodrama. The plot was rather predictable, but the touches of humor give Hide and Seek a charm entirely absent from Basil; in particular, I liked a scene in which the artist Valentine Blyth is floridly presenting his new works of art, to the sotto voce accompaniments of the two critics he's invited. Hide and Seek is not one of Collins's finest novels, but it's a pleasant di ...more
Spencer's rating. Slow to get going, but interesting once you got into it. Not as good as The Moonstone, or Woman in White, but still a good read.
Cooper Renner
A very oddly, clumsily structured novel, but not without a good amount of interest for fans of Victorian fiction. It's not really much of a mystery--though there are mystery elements in the plot. Twists and turns, sometimes frankly unlikely, and often funny.
A warm story of a Foundling and how her family roots were found. I quite liked this book. It has all the quirkiness of a Victorian novel, with all its fun and amusing sides.
Mar 06, 2014 ☯Bettie☯ marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Laura, wanda


At a quarter to one o'clock, on a wet Sunday afternoon, in November 1837, Samuel Snoxell, page to Mr. Zachary Thorpe, of Baregrove Square, London, left the area gate with three umbrellas under his arm, to meet his master and mistress at the church door, on the conclusion of morning service. Snoxell had been specially directed by the housemaid to distribut
It was alright. I admit, the mystery actually did shock me.
Ann Maxcy
Sep 16, 2012 Ann Maxcy is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Halfway through-- slow going for Collins
Interesting, but not one of my favourite books.
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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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