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: Collins was an English writer who wrote, novels short stories, and plays. Collins was greatly influenced by his friend Charles Dickens. Amelius Goldheart is banished from his Christian community is Illinois. H travels to England to live with his uncle John. His uncle's wife wants to find the answer to the disappearance of her child and for that reason Amelius's niece is kept away from him. Amelius glimpses his uncle's daughter and is fascinated by her.