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The Black Robe

The Black Robe

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3 Stars
1 Rating
Published by CreateSpace

270 pages

ISBN-10:

1466264381

(

ISBN-13:

9781466264380)

The Black Robe is an 1881 epistolary novel by famed English writer, Wilkie Collins.

 

The Black Robe,  

Wilkie Collins,  

fiction,  

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1 Review of The Black Robe

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The book relates the misadventures of Lewis Romayne, and is also noted for a perceived anti-Catholic bias. As the story begins, Romayne and his friend, Major Hynd, are.. More details The book relates the misadventures of Lewis Romayne, and is also noted for a perceived anti-Catholic bias.

As the story begins, Romayne and his friend, Major Hynd, are in Bologne to visit Romayne's dying aunt. While there, he attends a card game, where he has an argument with an opponent, who challenges him to a duel. Romayne accidentally kills his opponent, and the screams of the man's brother after the death come to haunt Romayne for the rest of his life.

Romayne returns to his Yorkshire home, called Vange Abbey. Even in his own home, the Frenchman's younger brother's awful cries follow him. He finally leaves for London, to visit his old friend Lord Loring, who is the patriarch of a well-heeled Catholic family. While there, he meets Stella Eyrecourt, who falls in love with him. A Catholic priest named Father Benwell, who serves as a spiritual leader for the Lorings, determines that he will convert Romayne to the church, employing the services of young priest, Arthur Penrose, to this end. This is all done in an attempt to bring Romayne's family home, Vange, back to the church, who owned it before Romayne's family.
Romayne, who is still haunted by the duel, sends Major Hynd to enquire about the family of the man he killed in hopes of assisting them monetarily. Additionally, he confides in Penrose who becomes a true friend to Romayne, despite his presumed ulterior motives.
Father Benwell employs various tactics to undermine Romayne's marriage to Stella, finally culminating in a bigamous marriage, after Romayne becomes convinced of his wife's untimely death.
Eventually, Romayne is promoted to an ecclesiastical post in Paris. However, knowing that he is dying, Romayne finally decides to see Stella and his son. Father Benwell brings Romayne's lawyer to his deathbed, trting to confirm the validity of the will in an attempt to ensure the church inherits Vange. But as he dies, Romayne acknowledges he loves his wife and child, and has the will destroyed. This causes Vange—and the entire inheritance—to pass to his family, foiling Benwell's plans.

A fascinating story told in a very interesting manner.
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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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