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: William Wilkie Collins (1824 â 1889) was an English novelist, playwright, and author of short stories. His best-known works are The Woman in White (1859), No Name (1862), Armadale (1866), and The Moonstone (1868). Collinsâs works were classified at the time as âsensation novels,â a genre seen nowadays as the precursor to detective and suspense fiction. He also wrote penetratingly on the plight of women and on the social and domestic issues of his time. For example, his 1854 Hide and Seek contained one of the first portrayals of a deaf character in English literature. As did many writers of his time, Collins published most of his novels as serials in magazines such as Dickensâs All the Year Round and was known as a master of the form, creating just the right degree of suspense to keep his audience reading from week to week. Sales of All The Year Round increased when The Woman in White followed A Tale of Two Cities.