Serialised Victorian novel written by Creator/WilkieCollins. Run from 1859 to 1860.

Walter Hartright, a young drawing master from VictorianLondon, gets a job teaching art to two young women, half-sisters Marian Halcombe and Laura Fairlie, at Limmeridge house in Cumberland. He soon is tangled in a web of dastardly deeds involving an ArrangedMarriage and a MysteriousWaif in the form of escaped mental patient Anne Catherick.

The book is often considered the first Victorian sensation novel, and has been adapted into a play, several films and an Creator/AndrewLloydWebber musical.
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!! '''The novel provides examples of:'''
* AffablyEvil: Count Fosco.
* ArrangedMarriage: Percival Glyde to Laura Fairlie.
* AristocratsAreEvil
* AuthorAppeal: Collins found the female form most beautiful when viewed from behind, so we got mention of Marian having a beautiful backside.
* AwesomeMcCoolname: Isidor Ottavio Baldassare Fosco
* BreakTheCutie:
** Laura is an adorable lady and Walter and Marian love her so much, and she them. Then her soon-to-be husband appears, and let the torturing of readers begin. She suffers terribly in her unhappy marriage, and she's a part of very evil scheme.
** It's also implied that this happened to Anne. She was probably as pretty as Laura, but her mother neglected her. We meet her when she's broken already, though she does have a kind friend who takes care of her.
* {{Butterface}}: Marian. Her gorgeous and perfect body is described in great detailed while she stands at the window. Then she turns around and... but her face. Walter didn't expect her to be ugly.
** GirlsWithMoustaches: Marian Halcombe has one. It's part of her being more than simply plain.
** WhenSheSmiles: But for all that she's mannish and unfashionably dark-complected...
* [[ChekhovsGun Chekhov's Italian Professor]]: Pesca, who ends up [[spoiler: being responsible for Fosco's death]].
* ContrivedCoincidence: Half the novel runs on this. But it was written in Victorian England, so nobody is surprised.
* DeadpanSnarker: Marian. Her precise sarcastic remarks are directed at nearly everybody. She has a soft spot for Laura and Walter, but even they don't always escape her snark.
* DeadPersonImpersonation: [[spoiler: Laura replacing Anne in the Asylum toward the end of the book.]]
* EpistolaryNovel: Though it's more in the form of diary entries rather than letters.
* EvilDetectingDog: When Sir Percival greets Miss Fairlie's "little Italian greyhound", it whines, shivers and hides under the sofa from him, then barks and snaps at him when he leaves.
* EvilUncle: Fosco ''is'' married to Laura's aunt.
* FakeAristocrat: As it turns out, [[spoiler:Sir Percival]]'s claim to rank and title is based on a forged marriage certificate.
* GeniusSweetTooth: Fosco, unless it's just part of his {{Villainous Glutton}}y.
* GenreSavvy: Walter.
** When he goes to share what he's learned with Fosco, he takes precautions so that, when he's asked "HaveYouToldAnyoneElse", he can assure Fosco that he ''has'', and killing him would therefore not solve anything.
** He happily makes a deal with Fosco that will get him what he wants but allow the latter to escape from the law scot-free because Walter assumes [[KarmicDeath karma will punish him anyway]].
* GoldDigger: When the marriage settlement for Sir Percival's marriage to Laura is drawn up, his demands make it clear that he's after her money. Mr Fairlie nods it through anyway, over the strong objections of the family lawyer.
* IdenticalStranger: Anne and Laura, apparently ([[spoiler: Walter discovers that Anne was Laura's half-sister.]]).
* IGaveMyWord: Laura promised her dying father that she'd marry Sir Percival, and she sticks to that promise even after she realises she could never love him.
* {{Hypochondriac}}: Frederick Fairlie.
* ItsAllAboutMe: Frederick Fairlie.
* KarmicDeath: Yes. You can probably guess who.
* LoveIsAWeakness: Fosco confesses that his esteem for Marian proved to be his only weakness in the affair.
* {{Malaproper}}: Professor Pesca.
* MaleGaze: Shamelessly done by Walter on Marian.
* NiceToTheWaiter: Sir Percival's treatment of his servants is the first warning sign we get of his {{Jerkass}} nature.
* TheOphelia: Anne and Laura. Though their mental health problems are described as rather troubling [[spoiler:but Mr Hartright takes great pleasure in taking care of Laura and making her better.]] Anne's weak and confused mind do not make her attractive at all.
* PersonWithTheClothing
* {{Polyamory}}: Hinted at with Walter, Laura, and Marian at the end.
* TheReveal: The truth of Professor Pesca is one of many. This is, after all, a serialized sensation novel.
* SexlessMarriage: Fortunately for Laura, implied for her and her husband; Sir Percival assures Fosco that there's no chance of Laura producing heirs.
* SexyWalk: Marian has one, according to Fosco.
* SmartPeoplePlayChess: Marian is good at it. When she plays with Count Fosco, she discovers very quickly that her let her win on purpose. She immediately tells him what the hell, he apologizes and utterly destroys her in their next game.
* SpiritedYoungLady: Marian. Intelligent, capable, strong and physically fit. Laura is her ProperLady {{Foil}} and frankly, she pales in the comparison.
* TomboyAndGirlyGirl: Marian the Tomboy and Laura the Girly Girl.
* UncannyFamilyResemblance: Two half-sisters (not Marian and Laura).
* VictorianBritain
* VictoriasSecretCompartment: Used by Fanny to smuggle letters for Marian. Fosco's wife gets them anyway.
* VillainousGlutton: Fosco.
* WomanInWhite: Arguably, the TropeNamer.
* WorthyOpponent: Marian Halcombe to Count Fosco. Cue rambling about how intelligent/courageous/perfect she is and how [[WeCanRuleTogether they could rule together]] under different circumstances (if he wasn't married, and he wasn't trying to get her sister's fortune, for starters). But one has to wonder what part of this comes from pure, candid, objective esteem, independent of the fact that the old goat is [[ILoveYouBecauseICantControlYou in love with her]]. At least in two occasions when [[IHaveYouNowMyPretty she could have been owned by him]], he just lets her off.
* WritersCannotDoMath: Collins got annoyed by reviewers who nitpicked about mistakes in dating, which he later fixed in a future edition. He consoled himself by thinking that [[TheZerothLawOfTropeExamples Shakespeare was guilty of the same thing]].
* YouGotSpunk: Marian, in Fosco's opinion. And he ''likes'' spunk.
* YourApprovalFillsMeWithShame: Marian's initial reaction upon discovering that Fosco likes her and admires her a lot.
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!! The musical adaptation provides examples of:
* AdaptationDistillation
* AdaptationalAttractiveness: Marian. Good GOD, Marian. In the book, she's described as being ugly and masculine. In the musical, she was played by Ruthie Henshall, a very attractive actress. The tradeoff, however, is that she's ''still'' considered undesirable, except this time it's due to being a ChristmasCake in her late thirties rather than young and ugly.
* VillainSong: "You Can Get Away With Anything"
* VillainLoveSong: "The Seduction"

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