Friday, January 1, 2016

Friday Freebie: Wilkie Collins by Peter Ackroyd

Congratulations to Betty Jeanne Nooth, winner of last week’s Friday Freebie contest: Academy Gothic by James Tate Hill.

For this week’s book giveaway, I have two copies of Wilkie Collins: A Brief Life by Peter Ackroyd to put into two lucky readers’ hands. Wilkie Collins is one of the many authors on my Reading Essentials list and I hope to finally get around to cracking open The Woman in White this year. Ackroyd’s short biography will be the perfect companion for that read. To learn more about the new book, keep scrolling...

Short and oddly built, with a head too big for his body, extremely nearsighted, unable to stay still, dressed in colorful clothes, Wilkie Collins looked distinctly strange. But he was nonetheless a charmer, befriended by the great, loved by children, irresistibly attractive to women—and avidly read by generations of readers. Peter Ackroyd follows his hero, “the sweetest-tempered of all the Victorian novelists,” from Collins’ childhood as the son of a well-known artist to his struggling beginnings as a writer, his years of fame, and his lifelong friendship with that other great London chronicler, Charles Dickens. In addition to his enduring masterpieces, The Moonstone—often called the first true detective novel—and the sensational The Woman in White, he produced an intriguing array of lesser known works. Told with Ackroyd’s inimitable verve, this is a ravishingly entertaining life of a great storyteller, full of surprises, rich in humor and sympathetic understanding.

If you’d like a chance at winning a copy of Wilkie Collins: A Brief Life, simply email your name and mailing address to

Put FRIDAY FREEBIE in the e-mail subject line. One entry per person, please. Despite its name, the Friday Freebie runs all week long and remains open to entries until midnight on Jan. 7, at which time I’ll draw the winning name. I’ll announce the lucky reader on Jan. 8. If you’d like to join the mailing list for the once-a-week newsletter, simply add the words “Sign me up for the newsletter” in the body of your email. Your email address and other personal information will never be sold or given to a third party (except in those instances where the publisher requires a mailing address for sending Friday Freebie winners copies of the book).

Want to double your odds of winning?  Get an extra entry in the contest by posting a link to this webpage on your blog, your Facebook wall or by tweeting it on Twitter. Once you’ve done any of those things, send me an additional e-mail saying “I’ve shared” and I’ll put your name in the hat twice.

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