The Best Oxfords World Classics - January 2021

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Wilkie Collins

William Wilkie Collins (8 January 1824 – 23 September 1889) was an English novelist, playwright, and short story author. His best-known works are The Woman in White (1859), No Name (1862), Armadale (1866), and The Moonstone (1868), also considered the first modern British detective book.

Born to the family of painter William Collins in London, he lived with his family from Italy and France as a kid and learned Italian and French. He worked as a clerk for a tea merchant. Following his first publication Antonina was published in 1850, he met Charles Dickens, who became a close friend, mentor and collaborator. Some of Collins' functions were first printed in Dickens' journals all of the Year Round and Household Words and both collaborated on striking and literary works.

Collins published his best known roles in the 1860s, achieved financial stability and an worldwide reputation. In this time he started suffering from constipation obtained opium for pain and developed an addiction. During the 1870s and '80s the quality of his writing diminished with his health.

Collins was critical of the association of marriage and never wed; he divide his time between Caroline Graves except for a 2 year separation, along with his common law wife Martha Rudd with whom he had two children.
Bio from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Photo by Elliott & Fry [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

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Franz Kafka

Franz Kafka was born in 1883 in Prague, where he lived most of his life. Throughout his lifetime, he published only a couple short stories, including “The Metamorphosis,” “The Judgment,” and “The Stoker. ” He died in 1924, before finishing any of his full size novels. In the end of his life, Kafka asked his lifelong friend and literary executor Max Brod to burn all his unpublished work. Brod overrode those wishes.

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