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A delightful tale of thwarted ambition and forbidden love, A Rogueâs Life follows the fortunes of an endearing young man. Proffering his own take on picaresque storytellingÂand with many a grain of truth for twenty-somethings todayÂthis is Wilkie Collins at his entertaining best. Propelled into society by his ever-hopeful father, Frank Softly is introduced to a variety of professions in order to make his fortune. Not industrious by nature, however, Frank finds working life a challenge, and by his 25th birthday, he has failed medicine, portrait-painting, caricaturing, and even forgery. Disenchanted with life, he despairs of ever finding something to commit toÂuntil he meets Alicia Dulcifer and her inexplicably wealthy father. The author of The Woman in White and The Moonstone, Wilkie Collins is widely regarded as the originator of the detective novel.