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: Wilkie Collins was an English novelist, poet, and playwright writing in the mid 19th century. His writing was very popular consisting of 27 novels, 50 short stories, 15 plays, and over 100 poems. His best-known works were The Woman in White, The Moonstone and Armadale. Frank Softly is the grandson of a somewhat well known British lady who is the recipient of a less well-known slow denuding of her funds. As such, her grandson must keep up appearances while barely able to pay for boarding school. He becomes a rogue. Trying to stay fed and sheltered, he ends up bouncing through a number of jobs and positions. His life becomes a series of jail terms, counterfeiters, 'Bow Street Runners', and greedy relatives.