By Wilkie Collins, Sandra Kemp
"When you seemed down into the stone, you regarded right into a yellow deep that drew your eyes into it so they observed not anything else."
The Moonstone, a yellow diamond looted from an Indian temple and believed to carry undesirable good fortune to its proprietor, is bequeathed to Rachel Verinder on her eighteenth birthday. That very evening the useful stone is stolen back and whilst Sergeant Cuff is introduced in to enquire the crime, he quickly realizes that not anyone in Rachel’s family is above suspicion. Hailed by means of T. S. Eliot as "the first, the longest, and the easiest of recent English detective novels," The Moonstone is a marvellously taut and complex story of puzzle, during which evidence and reminiscence can end up treacherous and never everyone seems to be as they first appear.
Sandra Kemp’s advent examines The Moonstone as a piece of Victorian sensation fiction and an early instance of the detective style, and discusses the means of a number of narrators, the function of opium, and Collins’s assets and autobiographical references.
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All over my characters made acquaintances, and my tale roused curiosity. in every single place the general public favour appeared over my faults—and repaid me a hundredfold for the not easy toil which those pages expense me at nighttime time of illness and grief i've got simply so as to add that the current variation has had the advantage of my cautious revision. All that i will do in the direction of making the ebook useful of the readers’ persevered approval has now been performed. may perhaps, 1871 W. C. PROLOGUE The Storming of Seringapatam (1799) Extracted from a kinfolk Paper I I handle those lines—written in India—to my kinfolk in England. 1 My item is to provide an explanation for the rationale which has prompted me to refuse the precise hand of friendship to my cousin, John Herncastle. The reserve which i've got hitherto maintained during this topic has been misinterpreted through contributors of my family members whose sturdy opinion i can't consent to forfeit. I request them to droop their choice till they've got learn my narrative. and that i claim, on my notice of honour, that what i'm now approximately to jot down is, strictly and actually, the reality. the non-public distinction among my cousin and me took its upward thrust in a very good public occasion within which we have been either concerned—the storming of Seringapatam, less than common Baird, at the 4th of might 1799. 2 so that the situations might be basically understood, i need to revert for a second to the interval earlier than the attack, and to the tales present in our camp of the treasure in jewels and gold kept up within the Palace of Seringapatam. II one of many wildest of those tales relating to a Yellow Diamond—a recognized gem within the local annals of India. The earliest identified traditions describe the stone as having been set within the brow of the four-handed Indian god who typifies the Moon. three partially from its extraordinary color, partially from a superstition which represented it as feeling the impression of the deity whom it decorated, and growing to be and lessening in lustre with the waxing and waning of the moon, it first received the identify in which it is still recognized in India to this day—the identify of THE MOONSTONE. the same superstition used to be everyday, as i've got heard, in old Greece and Rome; now not making use of, even if (as in India), to a diamond dedicated to the provider of a god, yet to a semi-transparent stone of the inferior order of gemstones, speculated to be suffering from the lunar influences—the moon, during this latter case additionally, giving the identify through which the stone continues to be recognized to creditors in our personal time. The adventures of the Yellow Diamond start with the 11th century of the Christian period. At that date, the Mohammedanb conqueror, Mahmoud of Ghizni, crossed India; seized at the holy urban of Somnauth; and stripped of its treasures the well-known temple, which had stood for centuries—the shrine of Hindoo pilgrimage, and the beauty of the japanese international. four Of all of the deities worshipped within the temple, the moon-god on my own escaped the rapacity, of the conquering Mohammedans. Preserved via 3 Brahmins,c the inviolate deity, bearing the Yellow Diamond in its brow, used to be got rid of through evening, and was once transported to the second one of the sacred towns of India—the urban of Benares.