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No Name Book Review, Book by Wilkie Collins
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No Name

No Name (Paperback)

No Name (Paperback)

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4 Stars
2 Ratings
Published by

784 pages






Retail Price:

Rs. 630

Bookchums Price:

Rs. 517

Delivered in : 8 business days



After the tragic deaths of their parents, Magdalen and Norah discover the devastating news that they are both illegitimate and not entitled to any inheritance. Norah is forced to become a governess to earn her keep but Magdalen has grander plans and embarks on an elaborate scheme of revenge against her cold-hearted relatives.


The Woman in White,  



Wilkie Collins,  

No Name,  

By Nightfall,  

The Moonstone,  


1 Review of No Name (Paperback)

Rated this book

The story begins in 1846, at Combe-Raven in West Somersetshire, the country residence of the happy Vanstone family. The first scene is a wonderfully dramatic legal thri.. More details The story begins in 1846, at Combe-Raven in West Somersetshire, the country residence of the happy Vanstone family.
The first scene is a wonderfully dramatic legal thriller. The reader is introduced to Mr. Andrew Vanstone, Mrs. Vanstone and their two daughters Norah, age 26, happy and quiet, and the irrepressible Magdalen, 18, beautiful, but with a steely jaw, loves reading by her window while her personal maid combs through and through her long hair. The family has a governess, Miss Garth taking care of the daughters.
Magdalen signs up to be a part of a play and entices their neighbor’s son (Frank Clare) to act in it, as they both fall in love. They even convince their parents to get them married, but soon tragedy strikes. Mr. Vanstone is killed in a local train crash, and Mrs. Vanstone dies in childbirth. The girls discover from the lawyer Mr. Pendril that their parents have only been married a few months and the wedding invalidated their will (which left everything to the daughters). The daughters have no name, no rights, no property and the entire family fortune is inherited by an older brother Michael Vanstone who has been estranged from the family for many years. With the help only of their loyal governess Miss Garth, the two girls set out to make their own way in the world.
From the second scene onwards, the character of the novel completely changes. It becomes comic as the confidence tricksters try to outdo each other. This scene is in York, where Magdalen enlists the help of Captain Wragge, a distant relative of her mother’s and a professional swindler. He helps get Magdalen started on the stage in return for a share of the proceeds. His wife Matilda, a huge clown of a lady, has to be kept in check. Her head is full of recipes and dressmaking.
Scene three is in Vauxhall Walk, Lambeth. Magdalen, having earned some money, forsakes the stage and plots to get her inheritance back. Michael Vanstone has died and his only son, Noel Vanstone is sickly and looked after by his housekeeper, Virginie Lecount, a shrewd woman who hopes to inherit his money. Magdalen goes to Lambeth disguised as Miss Garth to see how the land lies, but Mrs. Lecount sees through her disguise and cuts a bit of cloth from the hem of her brown alpaca dress as a keepsake.
Scene four is in Aldborough, Suffolk, where Magdalen tries to carry out her plot to regain her inheritance by marrying Noel Vanstone under an assumed name, with Captain and Mrs. Wragge posing as her uncle and aunt. Wragge and Lecount plot and plot in their attempts to outdo each other. In the end, Lecount is sent on a false errand to Zurich, and Magdalen and Noel are married. Captain Wragge arranges the marriage on condition that he will never have to see Magdalen again once it has happened.
Scene five is in Balliol Cottage, Dumfries. Noel is alone, as his wife has left to visit her sister Norah in London. Mrs. Lecount is back from Zurich and explains who his wife really is, with the help of the cut bit of cloth from the brown alpaca dress. Noel at her direction rewrites his will, cutting off his wife and leaving a legacy to Lecount and everything else to Admiral Bartram his cousin. He encloses a secret letter, asking Admiral Bartram that the money be passed to young George Bartram, but only on the condition that he marry someone not a widow within six months, thus ensuring that Magdalen cannot marry George for the money. The strain of this scheming is all too much and he dies from a weak heart.
Scene six is St. John's Wood where Magdalen has lodgings. Estranged from Norah and from Miss Garth, who she thinks betrayed her husband’s whereabouts to Lecount, she hatches a crazy plot to disguise herself as a maid (with the help of her own maid to train her) and infiltrate herself into Admiral Bartram’s house to look for the Secret Trust document.
The Seventh scene is at St Crux on the Marsh Essex and is very gothic, as Magdalen stalks through moonlit decaying halls and looks for rusty keys to help her find the all important Secret Trust. Eventually she manages it by following Admiral Bartram as he sleepwalks, but is discovered by his sidekick Mazey and thrown out of the house.
The last scene of course sees everything fall in its right place with Norah marrying George Bartram and gaining their lost inheritance. And yes, Magdalen (now ill and destitute) vows to be a better person and never again undertake any malice. She eventually marries a certain Captain Kirke, a sailor who had seen and become enamored of her at Aldborough.
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About Wilkie Collins

Wilkie Collins was a British short-story writer, novelist, and playwright. Some of his most-famous w...

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