Man and wife was wilkie collins ninth published novel it is the second of his novels after no name in which social questions provide the main impetus of the plot collins increasingly used his novels to explore social abuses which according to critics 1 2 tends to detract from their qualities as fiction. Man and wife is collins dual condemnation of the state of the marriage institution in victorian england and the problem as he saw it of too much emphasis on physical training and athleticism the theme of legitimacy is som forgive me wilkie for i have sinned. Man and wife was written right after the moonstone the last of his really successful novels sadly this novel is unjustly overlooked by wilkie collins fans its actually a fun readman and wife is a complicated story about a young couple and their friends family caught up in the consequences of lax marriage laws during the victorian era. Collins had already developed a reputation as the master of the sensation novel and man and wife is as fast moving and unpredictable as the moonstone and the woman in white during the novel the atmosphere grows increasingly sinister as the setting moves from a country house to a london suburb and a world of confinement plotting and murder
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