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Summary

Published in instalments in 1859, The Woman in White is often considered to be one of the very first detective novels. Although critics weren’t impressed at the time, the novel proved to be a hit with the public and has since gone on to become one of the timeless classics of the Victorian era. 

Following the adventures of Walter Hartright, this is a story of sleuthing, inheritance, ghosts and mistaken identity and was recently the subject of a hit TV adaptation by the BBC. 

Billy Howle, best known for his starring roles in On Chesil Beach opposite Saoirse Ronan, and with Richard Gere in MotherFatherSon, breathes new life into the masterpiece in this Audible Studios production. 

Public Domain (P)2020 Audible, Ltd

Behind the scenes

Billy Howle on The Woman in White.
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What listeners say about The Woman in White

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A delight.

This for me was brilliant from be beginning to end.
Loved it.
A delight for sure.

4 people found this helpful

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okay

love the use of the english language but story was predictable and hard going. long winded.

3 people found this helpful

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Excellent book

I've read and listened to it about 4 times now and never grow tired of it...

3 people found this helpful

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Outstanding narration!

The Woman in White is a brilliantly plotted thriller, and Billy Howle’s narration brings it brilliantly to life: it felt not a minute too long; and the (to me) familiar plot felt newly fresh. Please, Audible, commission Billy Howle to read The Moonstone and Dickens’s Our Mutual Friend!

2 people found this helpful

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loved at school and really enjoyed reading again

the reading of this story I found easy to listen too. they was a good level of different voices for the characters. even though two of the main characters were female and the book is read by a male, it was not an issue. the story moves along well and is covered by the various characters throughout the book. it portrays well how women were treated years ago, and the consequences of fighting back. the book is so much better than the recent tv series and I would highly recommend.

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Well known story very well read

I have never read this story but had heard of it. The reading by Billie Howle really brought it to life.
A great story written a long time ago when things were different. The old times are brought to life.

2 people found this helpful

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Compelling story

A suspenseful listen, couldn’t wait to finish it whilst at the same time didn’t want the story to end.

This is one of those books a film or TV miniseries would fail to do justice.

Billy Howle’s narration is great and he captures the character of Mr Fairlie perfectly. I wasn’t sure initially about his narration but gave it a chance and really pleased I did. Fantastic actor-well done!

There is nothing about this story or narration I didn’t enjoy. If you’re a fan of longer Dicken’s type novels then I’m sure you’ll enjoy this.

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Redefines “drawn out”

I really struggled and I read plenty of long books. It hits every period cliche of unnecessary faff. Theoretically this book was right up my street but I felt pure relief when it finally finished.

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Profile Image for 🌺 Lynne E.
  • 🌺 Lynne E.
  • 27-09-20

Excellent Narration

To be sure, THE WOMAN IN WHITE is not for everyone. It was first published in 1859, and it is written in the wordy, formal, slow-paced style of Victorian times. Its enjoyment also requires some general familiarity with British inheritance laws of that time, which strictly controlled the passage of entailed estates to male offspring. However, the nove! is famous as one of the earliest detective nove!s, and is worth listening to for that reason.

Billy Howle's clear voice and excellent pacing makes the narrative easy to listen to. Perhaps he could be better with the women's voices, but there is no faulting his performance of Walter's and the Count's voices. Remarkably, this title as narrated by Howle is included free of charge in the Audible Plus catalog, as of September 2020.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Sunnybrook in FL
  • 24-01-21

Wonderful!

This story is rich with the grammar of the late 1800s. It is purported to be the first murder mystery of it's type. The performance of the reader, Billy Howel, is top drawer. A must read and a must recommend to all who know me and care to listen.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Lisa
  • 20-10-20

Long but well done!

I enjoyed this story and particularly the narration. It is long with lots of details that are useful to the story but not always essential. It has enough twists and mysteries to keep it interesting. The narrator was the most enjoyable part as he portrayed the various characters very well. Worth the listen!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-02-22

Good narration. Terrible book.

I read a lot of classics I did not like but could at least see why they were classics. This book is just terrible.
The story is painfully dragged out. The mystery part I couldn't care less about. The epistolary style did not work for me in Dracula and it worked even less for me here.
Overall, this book took me forever to read – mostly because I had to force myself to continue – and I would recommend it to nobody.

1 person found this helpful

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  • D. Anderson
  • 26-01-22

I loved the experience of this story!!!!!

i don't think this story was long enough! I know some reviews said it was too long??I wanted it to go on and on!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sassy
  • 23-01-22

Wow what a plot!

It started sloooooow but wow did it make up for it in the latter half! There were no loose ends left and the narration was superb. I highly recommend it to any fan of gothic mysteries.

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  • Sewing Friend
  • 31-12-21

really enjoyed

once I listened to the first 7 chapters twice, and got used to the performers cadence and the 1859 style of English, I really started enjoying the book. it was hard to stop listening at times to do the other things I need to do, like sleeping.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Editor
  • 20-12-21

Deeply Engaging

“The Woman in White” by Willie Collins struck me first as a voice very similar to the observational style of Jane Austen.

By its end, however, my heart was engaged and I cared about what would happen.

The story is intriguing; the performance by Billy Howle, priceless.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 18-07-22

Wonderful and well-read

My favorite kind of story. Long, filled with intricate and subtle twists and turns and details. The performance was perfect, and the narrators accents and voices done so incredibly well that I often forgot that he was the same narrator for each character and voice. Highly recommended!

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  • Gary
  • 06-06-22

A long and unusual treat

A refreshing change from today's use of the English language. In the smartest, most beautiful and precise prose, the author spins an intriguing tale.