When the Countess Narona meets Agnes Lockwood, the woman jilted by her fiance, she feels a great sense of foreboding. After Countess Narona's marriage, she moves with her husband, Lord Montbarry, to Venice. There, disowned by his family, the lord apparently becomes a recluse and falls fatally ill. As much as Agnes tries to forget the episode of her broken engagement, her fate and that of the countess seem to be inextricably woven. Both are relentlessly drawn to the Palace Hotel in Venice for a final and dramatic encounter in the room where more than past emotions resurface to haunt them. Loosely based on a case from the annals of French crime, the scene, scenery, players, conflicts, and especially the horror of this mystery come through the invention of one of our classic novelists.
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Wilkie Collins (1824-1889) studied law and was admitted to the bar but never practiced. Instead, he devoted his time to writing and is best known for his novels The Woman in White, No Name, Armadale, and The Moonstone, which has been called the finest detective story ever written. A number of his works were collaborations with his close friend, Charles Dickens. The Woman in White so gripped the imagination of the world that Wilkie Collins had his own tombstone inscribed: "Author of The Woman in White."
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