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No Name - Wilkie Collins

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No Name

by Wilkie Collins

[editorial note: italics are indicated by the underscore
character; accent marks in the few words in French are omitted;
the umlaut in Zurich is omitted]


THE main purpose of this story is to appeal to the reader's
interest in a subject which has been the theme of some of the
greatest writers, living and dead -- but which has never been,
and can never be, exhausted, because it is a subject eternally
interesting to all mankind. Here is one more book that depicts
the struggle of a human creature, under those opposing influences
of Good and Evil, which we have all felt, which we have all
known. It has been my aim to make the character of "Magdalen,"
which personifies this struggle, a pathetic character even in its
perversity and its error; and I have tried hard to attain this
result by the least obtrusive and the least artificial of all
means -- by a resolute adherence throughout to the truth as it is
in Nature. This design was no easy one to accomplish; and it has
been a great encouragement to me (during the publication of my
story in its periodical form) to know, on the authority of many
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