By Wilkie Collins
In Basil's mystery and unconsummated marriage to Margaret Sherwin, and the ensuing horrors of betrayal, madness, and dying, Collins finds the bustling, advertisement London of the 1st half the 19th century.
Collins' therapy of adultery surprised modern reviewers, or even this present day the passionate and lurid surroundings he created has the facility to disturb the fashionable reader.
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R. Jackson and R. Smallwood (Cambridge, 1988), pp. 151‒66; pp. 154‒5. 2 D. Bradley, work cited in p. 38, n. 2, p. 34. 3 D. Bradley states ‘It is really a misnomer . . to speak of “sub-plots” or “double-plots” in Elizabethan plays’, pointing to ‘the Gloucester family . . whose history is fully explored and whose life-lines are interwoven, both in actuality and in the tightest thematic way, with those of the main characters’ (p. 35). 43 Introduction 6. David Bradley as Gloucester and Robert Stephens as Lear in Adrian Noble’s RSC production, 1993.
3 Donald Wolﬁt’s performance is reconstructed by Ronald Harwood in his Sir Donald Wolﬁt: His Life and Work in the Unfashionable Theatre (1971), pp. 160‒4; repr. in Wells, Theatre, pp. 224‒30. 1 2 40 Introduction at every little occasion, and dances about the house, leaps over tables, outskips men’s heads, trips up his companions’ heels, burns sack with a candle, and hath all the feats of a lord of misrule in the country . . ’1 But Lear’s Fool has cause to be more melancholy; and we are told that he has ‘much pined away’ even before we see him.
26), and that this led to the publication of Leir. 20 Introduction suitors. Leir decides to play a trick on her: he will ask his daughters which loves him best, and when, as he expects, Cordella claims it is she, will require her, as proof, to marry a husband of his choosing, the King of Ireland. Leir’s faithful servant Perillus, a forerunner of Shakespeare’s Kent, foresees disaster. The wicked Skalliger spills the beans to the elder sisters, who rejoice in the opportunity to thwart Cordella. In the scene of the love test, the elder sisters make grotesquely exaggerated protestations; Cordella (like Cordelia after her) comments in asides, then, when her turn comes, simply says I cannot paint my duty forth in words.