Wilkie Collins

1824 (London) – 1889 (London)

Wordsworth and Coleridge were Collins’ parents’ friends — he was aware when young of Coleridge’s opium habit, which foreshadowed his own spectacular consumption. Collins had many artist friends, including Landseer and Frith (with whom he visited Italy), and the pre-Raphaelites Millais and Hunt (Collins’ brother was involved with the group). His great literary mentor and friend was Dickens; he enthusiastically joined Dickens’ amateur dramatic group, wrote several Christmas stories with him, parodied his visitor Andersen, and accompanied him on numerous trips. Collins dedicated a novel to Procter, and loved America, where he met Twain, Longfellow and Holmes.