Literature Study GuidesThe Woman In White

The Woman in White | Study Guide

Wilkie Collins

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Wilkie Collins

Year Published





Mystery, Romance

Perspective and Narrator

As an epistolary novel told through letters, diary entries, and other first-person accounts, some of The Woman in White is narrated in the first person by multiple narrators. However, there is a master first-person narrator in the character of Walter Hartright, who narrates the bulk of the novel and organizes the other entries with clear evidence that he is conscious of his readers.


Collins uses the present tense in characters' journal entries and the past tense in their narratives in The Woman in White.

About the Title

The title The Woman in White refers to the startling late-night appearance of the mysteriously insane woman Anne Catherick—clad entirely in white. However, the title may also refer to Laura Fairlie, Walter Hartright's romantic interest, who also dresses frequently in white. The two women have ties that reinforce the novel's theme of identity.


This study guide and infographic for Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White offer summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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