Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Wilkie in Winter: The Frozen Deep

from Dickens and Showbiz site
First off, a very happy 190th birthday to Wilkie Collins, born on January 8, 1824! I'm actually quite excited for his bicentennial in ten years.

As one of two reads for Wilkie in Winter, I was looking forward to this one because I hadn't read it but I had learned some of the background about it through various sources. The Frozen Deep was first written as a play in 1856 and then released as a novella in 1874. Charles Dickens had a hand in it as well, both by coming up with the original idea and also by editing it later. I was tempted to read the play version but decided on the novella instead. It still read somewhat like a play, quite simple with mostly dialogue and only a few bits of scene-setting.

I thought it worked fairly well as a novella but I have to admit that I now have a greater desire to see it performed as a play. It is a very emotional and intense story and I think that would come through much more if it was well-acted. I enjoyed the themes of love, clairvoyance and self-sacrifice and thought there was just enough of a twist to keep it interesting. I would also love to see the period polar exploration costumes. Perhaps there will be a revival of the play for the bicentennial?

Enduring the chill,


  1. This one was my first Wilkie read and I was not disappointed. It makes me very excited to get to The Woman in White. I just need to finish my current read and one other before I can officially dive into the chunkster!

    1. This was a lot different being a play but now that I'm reading The Woman in White, I'm remembering just how readable his books are. Much easier than Dickens!