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Hide and Seek

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  393 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
The girl named Mary -- they called her Madonna, and she was deaf and dumb and beautiful as a painting by Raphael -- was a mystery. The Blyths adopted her from a kindly old woman connected to a traveling circus, but everyone knew she wasn't from circus folk. All they DID know about her identity was that she'd lost her hearing in an accident, and the proprietor of the circus ...more
Paperback, 296 pages
Published September 1st 2005 by Echo Library (first published 1854)
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Anna Kļaviņa
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,
Sep 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this a lot, despite its Dickensian elements (this is early Collins, when he was still learning his craft while very much under Dickens's spell--it is dedicated to Dickens, and substantial parts of it were written while Collins was visiting Dickens). Most Dickensian--other than the array of secondary characters with vivid names and odd tics--is the plot's reliance on two enormous and very unlikely coincidences. First, our young scapegrace hero, Zak Thorpe, happens to make friends with t ...more
Jun 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Wilkie Collins's Hide and Seek can be a frustrating novel. It is the third novel by Wilkie Collins and was originally published in 1854. It is written before Collins, Braddon and others launched into the era of the Sensation novel and it is not really a mystery novel in the manner of The Moonstone either. Hide and Seek is, however, a portal into what Wilkie Collins will become, and that is enough reason to discover and read this novel.

The novel is dedicated to Charles Dickens, and as we now kno
Apr 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I adore Wilkie Collins. I prefer him to all his Victorian colleagues (O Hardy! My Hardy! Forgive me. It's a tie between you and Wilkie). The man had soul.

Hide and Seek is a tale of love, betrayal, hardship and forgiveness.
It is both very modern and very outdated.
You find yourself appreciating notions and ideas that seem so open-minded but you also get images and terms that would be deemed offensive nowadays.
"Every man is a creature of the age in which he lives and few are able to raise themse
Aug 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First sentence: 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.

Premise/plot: Mr. Valentine Blyth is an artist. While working in the country side--painting portraits of babies and sometimes painting portraits of horses--he sees a deaf/dumb girl named Mary.
Ricardo Moedano
Jan 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mentors
Unveil and revel

Odd as it may sound, being a Collins volume the subject in question, this is not another tale of crime and suspense, but a happy drama without a villain. Indeed, what we have here is a love story—love understood as the urge to exert oneself in order to provide for our fellow creatures and relieve them from any sorrow or predicament. As to the wrong Joanna Grice did (tampering with her niece Mary’s correspondence, deceiving her brother as to where Mary might hace fled to, so that
Nov 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jun 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jenni Strader
Mar 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
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 is rather predictable and the ending enormously coincidental, 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 ...more
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2017
Oh, man. I have been on such a Wilkie Collins high, and I was looking forward to reading this one, but it just didn't do it for me. It was a slog, and reading it felt tedious. One of Collins's gifts is dialogue, and this novel is almost entirely descriptive exposition--lots of what everything looks like and what everyone is thinking and very little of it accomplished through dialogue. I also think that the solution to the mystery of the story isn't telegraphed at all so that it just comes out 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
My Inner Shelf
Mar 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: _vo, classiques, victorien
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
Apr 13, 2013 marked it as to-read
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
Jan 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lit-england
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Writing as the Victorian he was Wilkie Collins chose a family story with the usual touches of hidden identity and mystery.
Painter Valentine Blyth and his invalid wife give no hints why they have taken a blind girl named Madonna into their house and treat her like a daughter. In fact, Madonna isn't her real name. Mystery surrounds many of the characters and all of the secrets are eventually revealed.
Hide and Seek has a good plot, interesting characters, and some amusing moments. This, his thir
Dec 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
A.L. Stumo
Apr 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
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.
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.
Aug 28, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an awesome story! Loved the characters . .. especially Mat. He reminded me of a cross between Paul Bunyan and Huckleberry Finn and Davie Crockett.
Dec 08, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, classic, british
It was alright. I admit, the mystery actually did shock me.
Ann Maxcy
Sep 16, 2012 is currently reading it
Halfway through-- slow going for Collins
Brenda Cregor
Jan 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wilkie, no doubt, created his book characters with the stage in mind.
They are all 'bigger than life'.

Good story.
Mar 16, 2009 rated it liked it
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.
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.
Nicola Brown
Jun 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A very enjoyable read.
Jun 19, 2016 rated it liked it
The sappy side of "mystery"…
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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 50 years. Most of his bo
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“But in these modern times it may be decidedly asserted as a fact, that vice, in accomplishing the vast majority of its seductions, uses no disguise at all; appears impudently in its naked deformity; and, instead of horrifying all beholders, in accordance with the prediction of the classical satirist, absolutely attracts a much more numerous congregation of worshippers than has ever yet been brought together by the divinest beauties that virtue can display for the allurement of mankind.” 1 likes
“You musn't talk of a young lady *belonging* to anybody, as if she was a piece of furniture, or money in the Three per Cent, or something of that sort.” 0 likes
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