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Jezebel's Daughter

3.75  ·  Rating Details ·  259 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
'The power that I have dreamed of all my life is mine at last!'

How far is a mother prepared to go to secure her daughter's future? Madame Fontaine, widow of an eminent chemist, has both the determination and the cunning to bring young Minna's marriage plans to fruition, with dangerous consequences for anyone who dares to stand in her way. But has she met her match in Jack
Kindle Edition, 213 pages
Published (first published 1880)
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Jezebel’s Daughter is definitely not one of Wilkie’s best works, but its is still thoroughly enjoyable.

As a note to first time readers: if you want the plot to remain a mystery DO NOT look up the infamous serial killer they mention. I did, and it gave the whole thing away entirely.

Regardless, I think you’ll be able to figure out the resolution a bit sooner than Wilkie intended. Jezebel may be one of his most overtly nefarious characters, and she was enjoyable, but erratic. I did fully enjoy the
Mary Ronan Drew
Ah, Wilkie Collins, a writer who can be counted on to put the sensation in sensational fiction. Nefarious doings including lying, cheating, and stealing. The theft of money from a locked desk, mysterious illnesses, deaths, and recoveries. The return of a body to life while in the Death House, poisons, a cypher, lovers kept apart by their families, a mad man, and at the end a wedding, the bride and groom in which the reader is invited to guess. Too much.
Feb 27, 2016 SarahHannah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic sensationalism! It's got the lot! Lunatics, poison, murder, Bedlam, a Deadhouse. A really well paced ride of a read.
Jan 13, 2014 Autumn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
certainly not one of Collins' best novels. characters are even flatter than usual, plot even more contrived than usual. Just not his best work.
I made the mistake of Googling the real-life criminal whose name was mentioned in a newspaper article read by one of the characters. Needless to say, it ruined the mystery reveal.
Oct 06, 2016 Sherri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read in a bio of Collins that Jezebel's Daughter was met with great popularity. It was one of his later novels, and this success was a welcome surprise. I enjoyed the novel on the merits of how Collins wrote. I love his characters; the good and the bad. I can see them and sometimes feel their emotions right along with them. Was it obvious who the villain was? Yes. But the tension and plotting and build up of an ultimate climax of "being found out" is all in the fun of reading his books. He rem ...more
Ruby Bibi
Oct 28, 2015 Ruby Bibi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting mystery/ drama which takes place in the early 1800's, about 70 years prior to the writer's current time period.
A woman whose husband is the major partner in a firm in London, with a branch in Germany, finds herself a widow. She was 20 years younger than her husband, but loved him deeply and followed his convictions. Her husband had trusted her implicitly and knew that she would carry on his desires, with one of them being that he wanted to employ women clerks in his firm, which

… looms large in Wilkie Collins’s novel Jezebel’s Daughter (1880), making sure that chance discoveries of old and recent crimes will abound – but when you read Collins, or any of his other Victorian sensational-novel writing colleagues, you will simply have to accept that coincidences occur (as in fact they do in our daily lives), often when the writer is at a loss as to how to link two characters or how to prepare the ground for an important revelation. However, if Agatha Christie co
Perry Whitford
Mrs. Wagner, a rich widow with liberal sentiments, has some radical ideas about how to run the business her husband left her, as well as some radical ideas about 'the treatment of insanity by moral influence', which she experiments with by taking a madman out of Bethlehem Hospital ( or "Bedlam", as it was famously known) and treating him kindly in her home.

Madame Fontaine is 'the woman with the snaky movements and the sleepy eyes' according to the astute Mrs. Wagner, a charming widow of a chemic
Apr 24, 2016 Michele rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ah, so much good stuff in here: love, treachery, murder, madness, innocence, obsession. The 19th-century period details were wonderful: Bedlam, new ideas about treating mental illness, travel options (the "night mail" sounds so romantiv), women in the workplace, the telegraph, etc. I was particularly fascinated by the highly detailed descriptions of the Dead House, the great efforts Germans of the time took to ensure no one was accidentally buried alive (among other things: ten thimbles, one fit ...more
Mar 20, 2016 saizine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What, you thought I could go a month without reading something by Wilkie Collins? Clearly you have underestimated my dedication to sensation fiction - and Jezebel's Daughter is a particularly nice example of it! If I'm completely honest I'm a little tired of reading reviews that compare each and every work of Collins' to The Woman in White or The Moonstone (and I fully admit I have done this myself!) when there is plenty to be said about his other work which stands completely apart from the best ...more
Aug 04, 2012 Steffi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: places-london
Der Kriminalroman aus dem Jahr 1880 spielt 1829 und schafft den seltsamen Spagat zwischen London und Frankfurt am Main. Gleich zu Beginn habe ich mich über die Thematisierung des berühmtberüchtigten Irrenhauses Bedlam gefreut, in dem die Figur des Jack Straw gefangen gehalten wird.Die Geschichte bezieht ihren Reiz aus dem Gegensatz von deutschen und englischen Charakteren, die Kriminalhandlung ist aber alles andere als raffiniert. Im Vergleich zur Die Frau In Weiß ein eher schwacher Roman.
Jan 30, 2014 Julia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable mystery, involving a complicated villainess, poisons, antidotes, toying with people’s emotions and their very lives, indebtedness, a mother’s love, unrequited love, forbidden love, friendship, murder, early women’s rights in England and Germany, saving a poor young man from a brutal insane asylum, and prejudices of many sorts. Told with both humor and tragedy.
Mar 27, 2013 Lucy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of his shorter novels, but it still dragged a bit. It's all a bit obvious. But Collins always manages to introduce something a bit 'off the wall', in this case the unfortunate Jack Straw, rescued from Bedlam and a prime mover of the plot. Which is really, really far-fetched, and the resolution borders on the silly - you have been warned!
Bill Cavanagh
Sep 26, 2012 Bill Cavanagh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent yarn. Like much of Wilkie Collins it was predictable and full of unlikely coincidences but nevertheless it kept me hooked until the final page. Unlike in many of Collins' novels none of the characters really stood out for me except perhaps poor Jack and Madame Fontaine was an excellent villain. I have given it 5 stars.
Better than some of the other lesser known Collins I've read, though not quite up to the level of 'law and the lady' or 'no name'. as is usually the case his auxiliary characters and villains are more detailed and we know them better than the innocent central characters whose fates are controlled by these more powerful influences.
Kathy Lewis
Jan 11, 2014 Kathy Lewis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I keep seeing reviews that mention that this was not one of Mr. Collins best books. It was a bit long winded at times BUT, even a book that isnt one of his best is so much better than books written today. I am never disappointed and look forward to enjoying another of his very entertaining stories.
Jun 19, 2016 Liselotte rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
I love Wilkie Collins, the Moonstone is my favourite book, but I really did not like this one.
It wasn't a bad book by far, but it just wasn't GREAT. I didn't really like the story nor the ending, it was a kind of like a "i need to finish a book because I need to get some money" book.

Now, yes, read this book, but don't expect too much of it!
Jan 26, 2014 Rose rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this in an edition published in late 1880s. While this not Collins' best (that would be "The Woman In White" or "The Moonstone") it is still great fun and full of all the surprises of a good Victorian sensation novel.
Mar 04, 2013 Shawn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, ebook
This is the first book I've read by Wilkie Collins. It was a great suspenseful yarn. I had a hard time putting it down. I enjoyed the character and plot development. Very good read. More of Mr. Collins' books will be added to my "to read" list.
Jessamy Barker
Nov 30, 2016 Jessamy Barker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Darker than usual and one my my favourites by this author so far. The Dead House section is really exceptional
May 13, 2016 Hermien rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-thriller
Exactly the kind of book that was popular at the time and should be read with that in mind. The portrayal of Jews would be very politically incorrect these days.
TheRavenking rated it liked it
Feb 10, 2014
Cathy rated it it was amazing
May 06, 2009
Patricia rated it it was ok
Aug 01, 2013
Angela rated it really liked it
May 25, 2014
Steve rated it really liked it
Nov 21, 2016
Cassybsmith rated it liked it
Nov 28, 2014
MR ERIC ROBSON rated it it was amazing
Mar 28, 2016
sergio88 rated it really liked it
Apr 25, 2014
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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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