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After Dark

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A prolific author of the Victorian era, Wilkie Collins (1824–89) specialized in tales of suspense. The forerunners of today's detective and suspense fiction, his best-known works include The Moonstone and The Woman in White. The six short stories of After Dark ― tales of murder, mystery, and family drama ― originally appeared in the periodical Household Words, which was published by Collins's friend and fellow storyteller Charles Dickens.
The opening sequence, "Leaves from Leah's Diary," in which an itinerant painter of portraits reminisces about some of his most curious subjects, provides a narrative framework for the stories. "The Traveller's Story: A Terribly Strange Bed," relates an insomniac gambler's brush with disaster. "The Lawyer's Story: A Stolen Letter" involves blackmail, and "The French Governess's Story: Sister Rose" unfolds in Paris during the Revolution. "The Angler's Story: The Lady of Glenwith Grange" recounts a romance with a dashing stranger, and "The Nun's Story: Gabriel's Marriage" tells of estrangement and reconciliation. The final tale, "The Professor's Story: The Yellow Mask," concerns a stolen inheritance.

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