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13 Days of Spinechilers Day 5 - The Dream Woman

Alexander Finbow - Sunday, January 16, 2011

Welcome to Day 5 of The 13 Days of Spinechillers. Today's tale is brought to you by Wilkie Collins, perhaps an author you are unfamiliar with, but this story is one you should listen to as it is a great Spinechiller.

The Dream Woman is a story concerning a young man who dreams of a beautiful ethereal woman who tries to murder him in his bed. A disturbing dream for anyone. Then he meets her and falls in love.

To say any more would give away too much of this wonderfully crafted story.

So I'm going to let Doug fill you in with a a few more details about this author:

'The Dream Woman by Wilkie Collins, who was born in 1824 and is to be congratulated, I suppose, as being the first Spinechillers author to live beyond the age of 60 – 65 to be precise. A close friend of - and sometime collaborator with – Charles Dickens, Collins was a hugely popular writer with 27 novels to his name, in addition to short stories, plays and non-fiction. Collins led an unconventional life, training in the law but never practising. He lived with Caroline Graves and her young daughter but would not marry – he was steadfastly opposed to the institution of marriage. Caroline in fact married another man in the 1860s – Collins was present at the ceremony – but returned to live with the author who had begun another relationship with a young woman named Martha Rudd who bore him three children. His will stipulated his estate be divided equally between the two women.

‘Mr Coleridge, do not cry; if the opium really does you good, why do you not go and get it?’ These were the words which the 9 year old Wilkie supposedly overheard his mother speak to Samuel Taylor Coleridge. At 30 Collins began taking laudanum to relieve the pains of gout and in his later years, was a helpless addict, consuming prodigious quantities of the tincture from a hip flask which accompanied him everywhere: his addiction was a factor in the estrangement between him and Dickens in later years.

The Dream Woman was published in 1874 in a collection called The Frozen Deep And Other Stories'

Thanks Doug. The Dream Woman is a haunting and cunningly crafted story which is well worth an hour of  quiet concentration, and a lifetime of reflection.

Part 1 is 30 minutes long and Part 2 is 34 minutes in duration.

During The 13 Days of Spinechillers event our downloads are available at only 99 cent each.

You will find the beautifully crafted part 1 here and the captivating concluding Part 2 here. We hope you enjoy this Spinechiller, and join us tomorrow as we reveal what we have prepared for you on Day 6.