Miranda Seymour

The Marriage Plot

The Trials of the King of Hampshire: Madness, Secrecy and Betrayal in Georgian England


Oneworld 330pp £20 order from our bookshop

Lunacy, as lovers of Wilkie Collins’s novels will be aware, was a lucrative business in 19th-century England (and not only for the owners of the country’s innumerable asylums). Anybody who wanted to lay their hands on a fortune – as did Collins’s magnificently wicked Count Fosco and his less lovable sidekick, Sir Percival Glyde – found it remarkably easy to lock away a perfectly sane heiress and to seize her estate.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'Moser’s book offers such a gripping account of a profoundly damaged human being, trapped in a cycle of repetition,… ,
    • 'Ideas that I’d thought were set down in full continue to smoulder ... this book is only a snapshot of some larger… ,
    • 'Full of invention which, at its most pedestrian, is eminently Victorian, and at its most unrestrained wildly imagi… ,
    • 'What in other hands could have been a dry, pedantic account of Christianity’s birth and evolution becomes in Holla… ,
    • RT : One of my favourite literary magazines is celebrating 40 years this year. Here is the September edition of… ,
    • 'Now that the Thames is too fast-flowing to freeze, its spirit’s devotees ... have found other climes for their pri… ,
    • 'Bythell glowers past his till at a world in slow free fall.' on the travails of a second-hand book… ,