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The Moonstone. Wilkie Collins (1868, 1871). The Moonstone . Published serially, 1868, in All the Year Round (C. Dickens, ed.) Published in three vols , 1868, in one volume (revised) edition 1871

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the moonstone

The Moonstone

Wilkie Collins (1868, 1871)

the moonstone1
The Moonstone
  • Published serially, 1868, in All the Year Round (C. Dickens, ed.)
  • Published in three vols, 1868, in one volume (revised) edition 1871
  • Massive bestseller: Prime Minister B. Disraeli stayed up all night reading it and missed meetings; people waiting for copies; dozens of spinoffs: The Eustace Diamonds (1877), The Sign of the Four (1890)
koh i noor diamond
Koh-i-Noor Diamond
  • Taken from India by British East India Company
  • Said to be cursed
  • Set in the British Crown Jewels
  • Now on display at Tower of London
  • See p. 74
form of the novel
Form of the Novel
  • A “Nested” Set of First-Person Depositions
    • “Structure of authority in the novel” (Said 77)
      • “There is first the authority of the atuhor… Then there is the authority of the narrator, whose discourse anchors the narrative in recognizable, and hence existentially referential, circumstances” (Said 77)
  • A Marriage Plot?
  • An “It” Narrative?
    • “[F]irst-person fictional accounts of the lives of things such as slippers, feathers, clocks, coaches, money and animals published during the eighteenth century.” (Jonathan Lamb)
the bechdel test colonial version
The Bechdel Test: Colonial Version?
  • Named after Graphic Novelist Alison Bechdel
  • A film, TV show, or book:
    • 1. Has to have at least two [named] women in it…
    • 2. Who talk to each other…
    • 3. About something besides a man.
  • But Still: “The Moonstone is out of step with the Victorian novel in its positive emphasis on outsiders and outcasts: servants, women, natives, those unconventional in manner and/or appearance, and the misshapen or deformed.” (Introduction xv).
indian characters
Indian Characters
  • “The Jugglers”
  • ?
  • And yet: Empire “has a codified, if only marginally visible, presence in fiction, very much like the servants in grand households and in novels, whose work is taken for granted but scarcely ever more than named, rarely studies or… given density” (Said 63).
non indian characters
Non-Indian Characters

Servants

Non-Servants

Col. Herncastle (“Honorable John”)

Lady Verinder

Rachel Verinder (64-65)

Mr. Franklin Blake (55-56)

Godfrey Ablewhite

Mr. Bruff (?)

  • Gabriel Betteredge
    • Penelope
  • Rosanna Spearman
  • Mr. Bruff?