A Wilkie Collins Chronology by William Baker (auth.)

By William Baker (auth.)

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December WC writes “Dec 1851” on final leaf of “Laureath” which became the Basil Ms (BL Add Mss. 87) 6 (Sat) Sends RB corrected copy for the second edition of Rambles. 13 (Sat) WC writes RB to complain of mistakes in the advertisements in that morning’s Times for his “Xmas Book” (L, I, 77). ” Also tells Marsh that he has “arrived at the last chapter of Mr. Wray’s Cash Box illustrated by Millais” (CL, I, 53). Bentley’s publish WC’s Mr. Wray’s Cash-Box; or The Mask and the Mystery: An Christmas Sketch, with a frontispiece by JEM.

Illustration no. 2 reads “St. Germans Church” in the List of Illustrations for “St. Germains Church” (Parrish, 15–16). Reviews of Mr. Wray’s Cash-Box in Atheneum: 50 and The Leader: 38–39. The latter favourable, the former “damned … with faint praise” (Davis, 112). WC writes EP on matters connected with The Leader (L, I, 78–80). First of WC’s six essays, “Magnetic Evenings at Home,” which appeared in The Leader from January 17: 63–64, on the subject of mesmerism and clairvoyance. Mr. Wray’s Cash-Box favourably reviewed in the Bristol Times.

4s 6d. 4 (Mon) Rehearsal late morning and early afternoon for final London performance in the Hanover Square Rooms. During the evening performance a scenery fire broke out. 5 (Tue) Morning Chronicle writes that public interest in the performance “appears in no whit to have flagged” (P, 6, 450 n2). 18 (Mon)– WC at work on “Laureath,” which became Basil. 21 (Thurs) September 20 (Sat) Finishes first volume of “Laureath” (Basil). 27 (Sat) WC’s first contribution to The Leader, in which WC’s lifelong friend and fellow Lincoln’s Inn student Edward Pigott (1824–1895: EP), obtained a controlling interest in 1851.

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