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The New Magdalen

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  243 ratings  ·  25 reviews
The tone in which those words were spoken was an insult in itself. Mercy suddenly lifted her head; the angry answer was on her lips. She checked it, and submitted in silence. "I will be worthy of Julian Gray's confidence in me," she thought, as she stood patiently by the chair. "I will bear anything from the woman whom I have wronged." ...more
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Published September 12th 2005 by Echo Library (first published 1873)
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Average rating 3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  243 ratings  ·  25 reviews


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Rod Innis
Nov 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
It was a well-written story. I truly enjoyed it. It suffers a bit from the same problem as many novels. It had a somewhat disappointing ending. Now the ending may please some; but to me, it seemed to end too abruptly and not the way I would have liked. However, the overall story is good. It leaves the reader not wanting to put it down at the end of a chapter. I found myself saying - just one more chapter for quite a number of chapters.
Suzy
Apr 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. It shows that those who truly love us forgive. It's not where you were but where you are going that counts. ...more
Nicola Brown
Aug 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Okenwillow
Mar 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classiques, victorien
Ça y est, j’attaque Wilkie Collins en VO ! The new Magdalen est disponible en français chez Phébus, sous le titre harlequinesque de Passion et repentir. Un assez court roman qui rompt un peu avec le reste de son œuvre. L’intrigue est simple, et démarre en 1870 quelque part en France, durant la guerre franco-prussienne, au milieu des combats. Deux anglaises se retrouvent dans le même refuge pour la nuit. Mercy Merrick, infirmière dévouée et Grace Roseberry, jeune orpheline ruinée mais bien née qu ...more
Tina
Nov 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Una novela de fácil lectura, empieza con el encuentro de dos jóvenes mujeres en circunstancias de guerra, una es herida gravemente y la toman por muerta, así la otra puede en su situación desesperada, apoderarse de su identidad; más el destino le traerá sorpresas muy dolorosas. Desde la primera página resulta una lectura amena, pero a medida que avanza, será cada vez más interesante, llena de intriga que se convierte en un suspenso envolvente y deseos de continuar en forma ávida y no parar de le ...more
Etienne Mahieux
Dec 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dans un poste provisoire de l’armée française, au cours de la guerre de 1870, deux Anglaises amenées là par le hasard font connaissance : l’une, miss Grace Roseberry, pauvre mais de bonne famille, seule au monde, tâche de regagner le Royaume-Uni après le décès de son père en Italie pour y rentrer au service d’une parente qu’elle ne connaît pas ; l’autre, Mercy Merrick, au passé douloureux, est infirmière de la Croix rouge. Elles se racontent brièvement leurs existences quand soudain, un obus tom ...more
Ruby Bibi
Jan 22, 2020 rated it liked it
-Though the excellent writing and the majority of the story was written with the intense emotion and deeply absorbing style typical of this author, the ending, which was unexpected, was probably written as a critique on the rules of society in 19th century England, in which the ton, the upper class members of society with titles, would look down on others as inferior beings. No matter how noble and admirable a person’s qualities, they could never suffice to raise one of lowly birth so that they ...more
Zareen
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel is one of Wilkie Collins later ones set in the 1870s during the Franco-Prussian war. His heroine, Mercy is deeply flawed. Believing that Grace died due to a German shell hitting her in the head, she assumes her identity. Therefore among her misdeeds she adds identity fraud.

A German surgeon, a totally unsympathetic character, examines the apparently dead young woman & discovers that by operating on Grace, he can bring her back to life. He operates on her in the cottage that the German
...more
A J HOOPER
Jan 06, 2021 rated it it was ok
Wilkie Collins was trying to get it across to his appallingly prejudiced Victorian contemporaries that women alone were vulnerable and 'fallen' through no fault of their own. Which is of course laudable. Unfortunately he bends so far backwards to do this in The New Magdalen it made me cringe.
While he is exonerating one young woman, he is simultaneously vilifying another who although somewhat unpleasant is totally innocent. If I had found someone had claimed my identity, effectively throwing me
...more
Danny
Mar 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
It's a brilliant read - from the scintillating open chapters to the meandering and intriguing close, the story has really stood the test of time, and deserves to be considered a British classic. The structure story is unique in that it was not only serialised in the papers at the time, but it was also intended to be enjoyed as both a novel and a play. The result is that each chapter unflinchingly ends on a cliffhanger (keeping the serialisation readers eager for the next instalment), whilst the ...more
Kam
Dec 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having recently read Woman In White, recommended to me by a friend, he sent me this book. (A beautiful copy by Persephone press.)
I liked it very much. WC is a very good writer, has his hand on the pulse of things, and in this book he addresses social issues more than Woman In White. But fear not, he doesn't bang you on the head with them. Well, maybe on one point he does, later.
It's different. I guess it could be a mystery in a way the other one was, there is a kind of cliffhanger all the way th
...more
Blanca
Nov 22, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable Victorian novel that portraits and critics the British society of the XIXth century. It is an easy reading that keeps you engaged in the story.
However, the reason for my 3* review are the characters, specially the two men. I found them too simple, too plain. Unlike the ladies of the story (except Grace Roseberry), who have a complicated, well developed personality, both men lack character and, in my opinion, suffer a bit from "simplification". Either they are too noble or too bad, they
...more
Nataly
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Considering the time it was written I give 5 stars, coz this book taught the rich people of that time that their judgment on person's status in the society was stupid. This book teaches that it's easy to have an impeccable reputation when you were born in a rich family and have no problems to worry, so such people mustnt be proud of themselves. Dont judge others not knowing their story. ...more
Julia
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Excellent story! Just when I thought it was over, more of the story is told in the epilogue... don't dare skip reading that addendum. I love the several multi-dimensional characters. Highlights the ability of people to live better than their past, but also of a class-conscious society to never allow second chances in their own drawing rooms. ...more
kris
Jan 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-books
I love all the Persephone books that I have read, this one included. Well written. It was written a little like a play - that made it more fun to read. Reminded me of an Edith Wharton book - true to life in that era. I liked the characters and the character development.
Allison
Dec 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A strong 4 1/2 stars, I really enjoyed The New Magdalen by Wilkie Collins. The forward provides insight into Collins' personal life, relevant to not only this book but The Woman in White and The Moonstone. The New Magdalen did not disappoint. ...more
MH
Dec 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
RJC
May 07, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Hard going at first. How society attitudes change towards fallen women.
Veronica
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the book. A classic tangled love story.
Alicia Montaner
Nov 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Siempre pensé que mi primera lectura de este autor sería "La dama de blanco", ya que me la han recomendado mucho y me apetece ponerme con ella.
Pero, en una de mis visitas a la biblioteca me topé con este libro y me llamó la atención.
Una mujer con un futuro poco prometedor por estar marcada por su pasado, tiene que decidir en un momento si cambiarlo radicalmente utilizando artimañas no éticamente correctas, pero que en principio no perjudican a nadie, o optar por ser correcta y seguir viviendo la
...more
Lucy
Oct 08, 2016 rated it liked it
I don't think I've ever read a more gripping opening chapter. Shame that he felt he had to spin out the plot to such a length, and the change of focus at the end of the novel (story told through letters) loses all the tension, and the end is rather rubbish. Not Wilkie's best. ...more
Bill Cavanagh
Aug 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really do know quite what to say about this book. It is very easy to read and the actual plot could be put in a very few sentences. I would describe it as a typical Victorian melodrama. There are not quite as many 'characters' as in many of other Collins books but Lady Janet is the strongest. It is interesting because presumably it gives a fairly accurate picture of social attitudes in the mid nineteenth century. Despite these fairly lukewarm comments I have still given it four stars because l ...more
Robert Hepple
Apr 30, 2014 rated it liked it
At first glance, a piece of sentimental Victorian melodrama with added social commentary and criticism of the Victorian class system. Not surprising, considering Wilkie Collins close relationship with Charles Dickens. The novel has some modern relevance, as it deals with identity theft. Strong female characters are a Wilkie Collins trait, and of the five main characters, three are strong motivated women, whilst the two men seem a little two dimensional. An enjoyable, if undemanding read for all ...more
Bisatto
Jun 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
One of the lesser known novels of the master of "sensation novels", Wilkie Collins, "The New Magdalen" delivers an enjoyable story of assumed identities, heart-breaking clashes between desire and conventions of society and a social commentary of the constraints of Birth and Life. Driven by characters more than by plot, the novel leads the readers to a conflict between reason and emotions, as you feel inclined to root for the protagonist Mercy Merrick, all the while well knowing that she is indee ...more
Angela Platt
Mar 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, classics
My favorite Victorian novel to date. A telling portrayal of the sexism and discrimination which took place against women during this period - told through the story of a young woman who tries to find a second chance in life, when she comes from the "wrong type of people". ...more
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Kim Sutherley
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Mar 17, 2018
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Sep 05, 2019
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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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