Poor Miss Finch

Af: Wilkie Collins



What is "poor" about Miss Finch? Well, with a novel with names like "Mr Sebright" (he’s an eye specialist – "see bright", geddit?), it’s all about sight. You see, Lucilla Finch has been blind since infancy – until she meets the eccentric German doctor Herr Grosse who partially restores her sight. Far from treating her simply as a "poor" blind Victorian woman, this novel is conscious of the experience of blindness, particularly that of blindness and romance.

Published a few years after his acclaimed mystery novel, "The Moonstone" (which starred Sarah Hadland in a recent BBC adaptation), Wilkie Collins now keeps up the mystery in "Poor Miss Finch". Having researched a real case of regained sight, Collins depicts great detail in Lucilla’s experience of colours whilst in the midst of a love triangle.

Two brothers want Lucilla’s hand in marriage; their deception and plotting must be foiled before Lucilla unwittingly changes her life forever. London-born Wilke Collins (1824-1889) became known in Victorian England for his novels and plays, sometimes writing together with Charles Dickens. His most famous works, "The Woman in White" (1859) and "The Moonstone" (1868), are examples of the first modern detective novels.

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