The book I'm reading this week is The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins. I love it! He's a great story teller with a touch of humor that I never imagined in a Victorian author. This is the first time I've read any of his books. Are they all like this? I'll certainly be looking out for more of his work in the future. The Moonstone perhaps?
Okay so here's the opening paragraph. It's a little convoluted, but after the first page or two it makes sense and really gets going.
This is the story of what a Woman's patience can endure, and what a Man's resolution can achieve.
If the machinery of the Law could be depended on to fathom every case of suspicion, and to conduct every process of inquiry, with moderate assistance only from the lubricating influences of oil and gold, the events which fill these pages might have claimed their share of the public attention in a Court of Justice.
But the Law is still, in certain inevitable cases, the pre-engaged servant of the long purse; and the story is left to be told, for the first time, in this place. As the Judge might once have heard it, so the Reader shall hear it now. No circumstance of importance, from the beginning to the end of the disclosure, shall be related on hearsay evidence. When the writer of these introductory lines (Walter Hartright, by name) happens to be more closely connected than his own person. When his experience fails, he will retire from the position of narrator; and his task will be continued, from the point at which he has left it off, by other persons who can speak to the circumstances under notice from their own knowledge, just as clearly and positively as he has spoken before them.