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3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  4,444 Ratings  ·  239 Reviews
The novel has a convoluted plot about two distant cousins both named Allan Armadale. The father of one had murdered the father of the other (the two fathers are also named Allan Armadale). The story starts with a deathbed confession by the murderer in the form of a letter to be given to his baby son when he grows up. Many years are skipped over. The son, mistreated at home ...more
Paperback, 721 pages
Published January 26th 1995 by Penguin Classics (first published 1866)
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Jennifer His chiseled features look about how I pictured Midwinter, but he's too old. I think there's an actor I've been picturing, but I have no idea what his…moreHis chiseled features look about how I pictured Midwinter, but he's too old. I think there's an actor I've been picturing, but I have no idea what his name is.(less)

Community Reviews

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Aug 27, 2016 Arah-Lynda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Arah-Lynda by: Cindy Newton
Shelves: top, lod, i-said, paperwhite
There can be no doubt, I love Wilkie Collins writing. It is like I am sitting in a comfortable chair by the fireside, feet up, sipping my wine and listening intently as he tells me a story. This marks the third Wilkie Collins book that I have read and now my second favourite next to The Woman in White.

These days it would seem there are so many new books out there, the ones with buzz, that we all chase after and so we should. There is nothing wrong with that. I just hope that along the way we do
Nov 12, 2014 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who loves Dickens, Victorian lit, or trashy romance novels
Shelves: favorites
I'm going to start this review with a seemingly random quote from The Simpsons. Milhouse, Bart's best friend, is listing the many mean pranks Bart has played on him over the years. One such prank involved lying to Milhouse after Bart's dog eats his goldfish. Bart tries to convince Milhouse that he never had a goldfish to begin with. To this, Milhouse replies, "But then why did I have the bowl, Bart? WHY DID I HAVE THE BOWL?"

This quote illustrates the essential difficulty surrounding much of the
Apr 23, 2012 Sean rated it it was amazing
Armadale is the 3rd novel I have read out of 4 major works of Wilkie Collins. This is Wilkie Collins’ longest novel and has, I believe, one of the most convoluted plots that I have read of his. It is a semi-epistolary novel that is absolutely worth reading.

The plot of the book introduces two distant cousins who both share a dark family secret that follows these two men into their adult lives. This family secret results in both men bearing the name of Allan Armadale. One of the Allans inherits an
Jul 31, 2016 Donna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, gothic
Before I begin my review, I need to get something out of the way. I loved The Moonstone, the only other book I had read by Collins so far. So I couldn't help wishing this book were as amazing and charming as it was, even though the subject matter in this book was completely different and needed a different treatment. There. Now you know part of my disappointment in this book was due to it not measuring up to The Moonstone, however unfair that is.

Now on with the review. This book's introduction,
Cindy Newton
Jul 29, 2015 Cindy Newton rated it it was amazing
This is my first Collins. I went into this with the knowledge that Collins had been bff's with Charles Dickens, and for some reason, I started reading with the expectation that Collins was a Dickens wannabe. I was pleased to find that this is not the case, and even more pleased to read in multiple reviews that Collins' other, more well-known novels are generally considered superior to this one. Something to look forward to!

I found this book to be much faster-paced than those I've read of Dickens
Sep 09, 2016 Zozetta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Εξαιρετικό ψυχογράφημα/θρίλλερ για την εποχή του και ο Κόλινς αριστοτεχνικός στη δημιουργία σασπένς και την αφήγηση. Το απόλαυσα πραγματικά.
I can't imagine why Armadale isn't as well-known as The Woman in White and The Moonstone - wow, what a fabulous book. The plot is even more tortuous than The Woman in White and thus fairly indescribable (particularly without spoilers) but it turns largely on issues of identity, with no less than five characters named Alan Armadale - happily, only two of them appear for any length of time, and one of those goes by an alias.

Easily the most compelling character in the book, though, is the villaines
Mar 06, 2014 Bettie☯ rated it really liked it
Recommended to Bettie☯ by: Wanda
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Free download available at Project Gutenberg.

And the audio version is available at LibriVox.

To all readers: read the Prologue carefully since it will give all the main hints to the narrative.

Another magnificent and suspenseful story written by Wilkie Collins, my favorite so far.

Major Characters:
Allan Armadale
Ozias Midwinter – His friend
Lydia Gwilt – Forger and laudanum addict, the anti-heroine of the novel

Minor characters:
Decimus Brock – A minister and friend of Alan Armadale and Ozias Midwinte
Elizabeth (Alaska)
Mar 21, 2016 Elizabeth (Alaska) rated it really liked it
It's been more than 5 years since I read my last Wilkie Collins - far too long to have waited! He is just such good fun. This one has Goodreads members shelving in a variety of ways, from Classics (naturally) to mystery, thriller - and gothic. I looked at these because, in the first 100 pages or so especially, I thought this read like a gothic novel, and sure enough, so did others. It is deliciously dark.
Some last-left instinct of her married life in its earlier and happier time pleaded hard wi
Evripidis Gousiaris
Τον Wilkie Collins τον είχα γνωρίσει πριν έναν χρόνο με την Γυναίκα με τα Άσπρα. Εντελώς τυχαία είδα το βιβλίο αυτό (άγνωστο για εμένα μέχρι εκείνη την στιγμή) σε προσφορά... ... Το πήρα παρόλο το μεγάλο του μέγεθος, το οποίο στην αρχή με τρόμαξε (1214 σελίδες), χωρίς να ξέρω κάτι για την υπόθεση, έχοντας μόνο μεγάλη εμπιστοσύνη στον συγγραφέα. ΚΑΙ ΕΥΤΥΧΩΣ ΠΟΥ ΤΟ ΕΚΑΝΑ γιατί το βιβλίο ήταν καταπληκτικό!

Με εντυπωσίασε το ότι ενώ η εξέλιξη και σχεδόν το τέλος του, προοικονομείται στην αρχή του βι
How I felt reading this book? Well, after reaching the halfway mark with no real plot propellant in sight (beyond the vaguely seen and sometimes referenced Lydia Gwilt), I was hanging around a 3. Then Lydia showed up and things bounced up to a 4. She was snarky, she was hard, she was driven and manipulative.

Then her diary kicked in and WOULD...NOT...LET...UP. She was way more interesting when tossing off random asides about people and skipping through events. When her entries were broken down in
Aug 25, 2016 Μ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
[Κέρδισα το βιβλίο στον χριστουγεννιάτικο διαγωνισμό των εκδόσεων Gutenberg το 2015 και μπορώ να πω ότι είναι ένα από τα ωραιότερα δώρα Χριστουγέννων που έχω λάβει ποτέ. Αρχικά δίσταζα να το ξεκινήσω επειδή μετά το "Πόλεμος και Ειρήνη" δεν ήθελα να διαβάσω κάτι πολύ μεγάλο για φέτος, ωστόσο το "Αρμαντέιλ" με τράβηξε ανεξήγητα την περασμένη Κυριακή και αποδείχτηκε ότι ήταν το βιβλίο που χρειαζόμουν να διαβάσω αυτή την εποχή.]

Αληθινά εξαιρετικό. Παρά τον όγκο του διαβάζεται με αμείωτο ενδιαφέρον χ
Oct 06, 2011 Kerrie rated it it was amazing
This is THE Wilkie Collins novel I recommend whenever I get the chance for those brave souls who want to brave the denseness of Victorian literature. The plot, which is all about mistaken identities, really requires concentration (no speed reading!) and the Bad Girl (or is it heroine?) Lydia Gwilt is an amazing character. Her final scene (in Wilkie's OTT-but-OMG-so-awesome prose) simply took my breath away - so much that I was totally gushing about it to my totally-not-interested blue-collar co- ...more
Aug 11, 2016 Claire rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well worth the effort it required! I loved the ending, which really affected the way I now view the entire book. The Victorians were the true masters of the novel, and especially of the ending!

The characters were all well-drawn and lifelike, especially Midwinter and Miss Gwilt. I loved the Rev. Brock and the doctor was positively creepy. Just a delicious book that I'm not quite ready to leave yet.
Anna Kļaviņa
A spoiler-ish rambling.

Am I mad? Yes; all people who are as miserable as I am are mad.

Before I started this book, I expected that Miss Lydia Gwilt (35) is going to be evil and manipulative as Shakespeare's Iago. And while she definitely lied, manipulated and was ready to commit a fraud and murder, she wasn't evil and not even cruel. Years of poverty, abuse and betrayal had made her an angry, lonely, embittered and desperate woman, and yet she was strong, intelligent and had wicked sense of
Elena T.
Feb 12, 2016 Elena T. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
"Armadale è un nome, ma il romanzo non è la storia del personaggio che lo porta. È piuttosto la storia del nome stesso, anzi del mistero che vi si cela".

La storia si estende fascinosamente su due generazioni di famiglie Armadale, la cui trama complessa avvolge con efficacia i capostipiti della "Collins-novel": scambio di identità, inganno, omicidio, passione.

L'anziano Allan Armadale, nel prologo ormai sul letto di morte, fa una rivelazione che in quel presente sconvolge più di una persona, ma ch
May 10, 2014 Bruce rated it really liked it
Having greatly enjoyed Wilkie Collins’ novels The Woman in White and The Moonstone, I turned to Armadale with great anticipation, and baggy and imperfect as it is, it did not disappoint. A more convoluted plot would be difficult to imagine. Allan Armadale disinherits his son, Allan Armadale, leaving his fortune to his nephew on the condition that said nephew changes his name to, you guessed it, Allan Armadale. The disinherited Allan Armadale, under the assumed name of Fergus Ingleby, cheats the ...more
Aug 13, 2016 Sylvester rated it really liked it
While not actually disliking Wilkie Collins, I have never been that impressed by his writing - until now. Well! I was afraid it was going the mystical/sensational way as the others at the beginning, but this book is really about character - great character development - and the wonderful thing is how Collins gives us a taste of each person's perspective. I loved going from Armadale and Midwinter's perspective to Lydia Gwilt's. Seeing her side makes everything that much more convoluted and intere ...more
Sep 19, 2013 Tristram rated it it was ok
Laudanum, Anyone?

It’s just not fair that Miss Lydia Gwilt, the female master-villain of Wilkie Collins’s novel Armadale should be reduced to the necessity of taking laudanum, despite all its harmful side effects, in order to find sleep, whereas we, the readers, find in the novel itself a much more reliable soporific, whose only side effect is, as far as I’ve found out, a headache and the bitter awareness of having wasted a couple of hours of valuable lifetime.

Armadale is definitely the family ha
No, this book is not about the Scottish liquor, Armadale. If you think it is you should probably just leave through the same door from whence you came.

I just spent a considerable amount of time reading, rating, and reviewing a stupidly complex work of "pseudo"philosophy and my brain is about fried. Which is sort of funny considering the plot for Armadale wasn't that much less complicated than that other book. But then that's what we love about Wilkie Collins, isn't it? His sensationlism!

(Dude lo
Oct 04, 2010 Scot rated it liked it
This 1866 work by Wilkie Collins is the first long Victorian novel I've read in quite a few years. Recognize the time commitment called for before you begin it. (I read it on Kindle, so pagination wasn't that easy to follow, but I was curious after I read for what seemed a long time and was only at 28%, so I checked: the Penguin Classics edition was 752 pages!) It traces the complexities and dynamics of assumed and mistaken identities, particularly as they affect two sets of central figures, fat ...more
Jun 25, 2015 Peter rated it really liked it
Wilkie Collins has become much better known in the past 20 years and for good reason. Overshadowed by his good friend and fellow author Charles Dickens, Collins and his novels have been always available but certainly not as frequently read as Dickens. The Moonstone and The Woman in White well deserve their popular status but other novels, such as Armadale, have languished in the shadows. Armadale is a fascinating novel. It explores character psychology, the nature and motivation of evil characte ...more
Feb 21, 2016 Leggendolibri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
È intrigante, fino all'ultimo ti tiene nel dubbio. Una cosa che si nota è che l'autore non riesce a condannare uno dei suoi cattivi. Lascia una via onorevole di uscita , che non è quella che vi aspettereste, cosa che non fa con gli altri. Il mistero è costruito in parte come La donna in bianco, perché l'autore, in alcuni punti per permettere ad alcuni personaggi di spiegarsi, sparisce lasciando la parola ai loro scritti (diari) o alle loro conversazioni (ricordi). Si discosta da La donna in bian ...more
Carolyn Owen-King
Jul 27, 2015 Carolyn Owen-King rated it it was amazing
Ah Armadale. Everything a book should be. If there were vampires it would be perfect. (Joking!) It's the most Sensational of Sensation novels; gripping and thought-provoking, the plot twisting like a twisty turny thing. Lydia Gwyllt is a villain to die for. Yes, she was bad, but she was good at it. We would have all been just as dastardly in her delicate ladylike little shoes. I wept when she....went! And as for lovely Midwinter, in my mind he's Hugh Jackman. Somebody make this film. quickly!Mor ...more
Aug 12, 2016 Linda marked it as to-read
It is here and free to read.
Aug 12, 2009 Faith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Armadale is a hard book to review, not least because it's almost like several books strung together. There are so many twists and turns and changes in pace and atmosphere that it's hard to pin it down, but also hard to put down. It's quite the quintessential sensation novel, with a beautiful villainess/heroine, two hapless men, a secret, a prophetic dream, secret love and lots of mistaken identity. It's utterly far-fetched although if you're to believe in the possible idea of the plot being all ...more
Johnna Adams
Aug 01, 2007 Johnna Adams rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Kay
I thought this was a fantastic read! It was written to be serialized in a magazine, I believe. And it really has that serial/cliffhanger feel to it. After reading the first 100 pages, I felt like I had already read an entire thriller. So much happens in that first 100 pages that my head was spinning-- and you don't really see any of those characters again in the book, because the action shifts to the second generation (the two sons of the people who go through the ordeal of the first 100 pages). ...more
My Inner Shelf
Les mots me manquent, les bras m’en tombent. L’un dans l’autre ce billet promet de ne pas briller par son contenu, mais que faire, que dire après un tel monument qui m’a procuré une extase sans nom ? Wilkie Collins nous balance un bon gros pavé bourré de personnages magnifiques et hauts en couleurs, des intrigues tortueuses, des rebondissements, des secrets inavouables, des âmes tourmentées, une société victorienne avec ses défauts mais avec cette ambiance qui me ravit.
Le meilleur de maître Wilk
Dana Loo
Apr 14, 2016 Dana Loo rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, classici
Grande, grande, grande Collins!! Costruttore di trame straordinario che riesce a dosare in maniera superba, tenendo alto l'interesse del lettore e la sua tensione fino all'ultimo rigo prima della parola fine.
Impareggiabile tratteggiatore di caratteri, la sua Miss Gwilt è un capolavoro di introspezione psicologica e non solo. Una donna meravigliosa nella sua malvagità, un'incantatrice di uomini, subdola, manipolatrice...eppure, dalla lettura dei suoi diari, non puoi fare a meno di provare compas
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Victorians!: Armadale - Section 2 42 33 Aug 02, 2016 07:51PM  
Classic Trash: Armadale: Finished (Spoilers) 6 6 Jun 30, 2016 02:59PM  
Classic Trash: Armadale: In Progress (No Spoilers Please) 26 9 Jun 28, 2016 01:13PM  
Play Book Tag: Armadale by Wilkie Collins - 4 stars (added to bookshelf) 3 12 Mar 24, 2016 09:44AM  
Victorians!: Armadale - Section 5 23 23 Sep 04, 2015 09:40AM  
Victorians!: Armadale - Prologue 58 50 Aug 11, 2015 07:20PM  
Victorians!: Armadale - Section 7 16 23 Aug 04, 2015 08:41PM  
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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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“The books - the generous friends who met me without suspicion - the merciful masters who never used me ill!” 1786 likes
“The books—the generous friends who met me without suspicion—the merciful masters who never used me ill! The only years of my life that I can look back on with something like pride... Early and late, through the long winter nights and the quiet summer days, I drank at the fountain of knowledge, and never wearied of the draught.” 21 likes
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