The Woman In White - Wilkie Collins 1860 - Sampson Low, London - First Edition ‘The best men are not consistent in good—why should the worst men be consistent in evil?’

Elegantly bound three volume first edition of what is considered to be one of the first murder mystery titles ever written, and hailed by Margaret Oliphant as
‘a new beginning in fiction’. The Woman in White is a dazzling display of literary prowess, causing a flurry of excitement upon its publication. By the time the novel had finished its first print run, Collins was earning a yearly income of over £10,000 pounds. It features a cast of unforgettable characters, including the plain, but brilliant ‘spinster’ Marian Halcome, and the nefarious Count Fosco, whose schemes and plots have earned him a place among the ranks of the best fictional villains.

The book has since been adapted into countless radio-shows, screenplays, television series, and movies, and is listed by The Mystery Writers of America, The Crime Writer’s Association,
The Telegraph, Julian Symons, and Haycraft Queen as one of the best Crime/Mystery Novels.
  ‘Wilkie Collins's novel caused unprecedented excitement when it appeared in 1859, and has not lost its capacity to thrill.’ - The Guardian

Wilkie Collins (1824-89) was born in London, but lived with his parents in France and Italy for much of his life. Best known for his crime novels; The Moonstone and The Woman in White, Collins was a prolific author and editor, and collaborated with Dickens on various literary projects. Collins has since been noted by DIckens as the only author cited as an influence on his own work. Famous amongst his friends and contemporaries for his flamboyant lifestyle, frequent periods of travel, and, later in his life, his addiction to opium following a severe case of gout.

References:
The Guardian [web], Herbert, Oxford Companion to Crime & Mystery Writing, 82. Bleiler, Checklist of Fantastic Literature 548. Greene & Glover, Victorian Detective Fiction. Hubin, Crime Fiction (2003).

Three small octavo volumes (19.8 x 13.2 cm). pp. [2] viii 316 [2]; [6] 360 [2]; [4] 368 [2]. Bound without half-titles.
  Finely bound in half powder blue calf over matching cloth, spine decorated in gilt with red and black morocco title labels lettered in gilt, marbled edges.   Condition: Near fine, some light spotting, in fine bindings.   Ref: 108969   Price: HK$ 29,000