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Exchanging vows of love with sailor Frank Aldersley the night before his departure Clara Burnham is haunted by the memory of Richard Wardour and his mistaken belief that they will one day marry With her gift of 'Second Sight' Clara foresees terrible tragedy ahead and is racked by guilt Allied to two different ships the two men at first have no cause to meet — until disaster strikes and they find themselves united in a battle for survival It cannot be long before they discover the nature of their rivalry and the hot tempered Wardour must choose how to take his revengeBased on the doomed 1845 expedition to the Arctic and originally performed as a play starring both Collins and Dickens 'The Frozen Deep' is a dramatic tale of vengeance and self sacrifice which went on to inspire the character of Sydney Carton in Charles Dickens' 'A Tale of Two Cities' NB This is a separate work by Wilkie Collins It is a novel published serially in 'Temple Bar' between August and October 1874 and then published as a book and is not the play of the same name that Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins collaborated on in 1856 and that they both appeared in and that was subseuently published in 1857

10 thoughts on “The Frozen Deep

  1. says:

    The Frozen Deep was first staged as a play in 1857 written by Wilkie Collins and modified by Charles Dickens It was later rewritten into the form of a novella The Frozen Deep was written in reaction to the ill fated 1845 Franklin expedition where all the explorers perished They were searching for the Northwest Passage in the ArcticThe tale centers around a love triangle where two of the members of the Arctic expedition love the same woman Clara She has the gift or curse of the Second Sight falling into a trance and seeing into the future The Frozen Deep is a story of rivalry and self sacrifice It has Victorian Gothic elements and a touching tragic ending

  2. says:

    First appearing as a play written in collaboration with Charles Dickens Wilkie Collins’ The Frozen Deep is a novella concerning a failed expedition to find the Northwest Passage At the heart of this story is a love triangle which speaking of Mr Dickens made me think back to A Tale of Two Cities I wonder if love has ever existed in the exact form that Victorian’s imagined I fear it has not I very much enjoy Wilkie Collins’ writing style and found this an easy and fascinating read One thing I cannot help admiring is the willingness of the men of this time to go out into the dangers of the little known world The only men of that ilk we have had in my lifetime were the Apollo Astronauts Ah but to uote Milton they also serve who stand and wait

  3. says:

    If it is melodrama that you want this is the book for you it oozes it from every page; even the title 'The Frozen Deep' has a touch of melodrama about it It is not 'The Frozen Deep' play that Wilkie Collins wrote in 1856 and Charles Dickens edited before it was published in 1857; the pair of them then going on to perform in it in that latter year It is a novella that Collins wrote prior to his reading tour of America in 1874 And thinking of Dickens acting in it I can imagine him giving it his all as he always did in one of the roles for he was nothing if not a manué actorThe story is set against the background of Franklin's lost Arctic expedition of 1845 and the two main male protagonists are Richard Wardour and Frank Aldersley while the females in the background very much in the background I should add are Clara Burnham 'a young girl pale and delicate' and her companion Lucy Crayford 'a dark beauty in the pride of womanhood'Lucy's husband First Lieutenant Crayford of the 'Wanderer' is involved in organising a two ship trip to the Arctic in search of Franklin and at a dance prior to departure he meets up with some of the sailors who are to accompany him to the Arctic regions One of them Wardour also of the 'Wanderer' has a liking for Clara and expresses his feelings melodramatically of course but Clara has eyes for someone else Aldersley and without giving away her paramour's name informs him that she is not his to pursue He is utterly dejected and tells her so in no uncertain termsMeanwhile the sailor that she has eyes for enters the room and when discussions develop as to the Arctic voyage and it is discovered that one of the seamen has been taken ill and is unable to travel he volunteers to go in his place and is accepted as a crew member of the other ship the 'Sea Mew' Clara is distraught for she has had what she calls 'Second Sight' and sees trouble brewing between the two men who are involved in her lifeAfter many trials and tribulations on the way the two ships eventually are wrecked and the two crews are thrown together in an attempt to survive and organise rescue parties This brings Wardour and Aldersley into close contact and it soon becomes apparent that the two men are after the same girl; Wardour is particularly miffed because he knows that Clara is in love with Aldersley so he is determined to do him harmHowever things do not uite work out and in most melodramatic fashion a rescue party sets off and eventually two bedraggled seamen arrive back in England at the home of the Crayfords in Kent At first nobody recognises the one who makes the first entry because he is so battered and unshaven from his long journey back to England But once it is realised who he is the uestion is raised as to where the other of the two prospective lovers is and that is when the melodrama reaches new heights and the story ends very melodramatically of courseIt is not an action packed story but it is certainly one that keeps the interest right through particularly if one imagines Dickens in one of the roles and Collins in the other oh to have seen that production

  4. says:

    Collins' tale is based on the tragic trips to find the Northwest Passage At times the story is a bit melodramratic but in the middle the tension is just right It is a tale of love and revenge

  5. says:

    'The Frozen Deep' was first published in 1874 originally written as a play by Collins in 1856 A novella of just over one hundred pages this is a very uick read No doubt inspired by the Victorian fascination with the lost expedition in search of the North West Passage led by Lord John Franklin in 1845A rare foray into nineteenth century fiction for me Wilkie Collins' tale of vengeance and self sacrifice is played out within an Arctic expedition lost and ice locked in the Polar wastes To bring spice to the plot the author also includes the dilemma of a love triangle a pinch of guilt as well as a dichotomy of Christian belief with that other Victorian allure to the occultToo short a novel to enthrall and not long enough to develop intriguing characterisation All the same has not put me off further reading of this writers work

  6. says:

    The date is between twenty and thirty years ago The place is an English sea port The time is night And the business of the moment is dancingMiss Clara Burnham believes she is capable of second sight and it's doing her no favours at all healthwise For entirely personal reasons I love the explanation Clara's early years were spent Scotland The ignorant people about her filled her mind with the superstitions which are still respected as truths in the wild north

  7. says:

    Trigger warnings near starvation?? deathSo this story started life as a play starring Collins and Dickens and then Collins turned it into this novella And honestly? I think it probably worked better in its original form because really there's not uite enough in the story to get invested in the characters and actually care about what's happening to them There's not enough set up for Clara and her mysterious second sense We get several pages several times over of the ship's cook complaining about making bone broth and then the actual crux of the story almost gets lost? Basically? I would love to see it as a play But as a novella? It was decidedly meh

  8. says:

    A short work interesting if not necessarily inspiring A brute thug antihero an insipid heroine and a clueless hero All three come across as several snowballs short of an iceberg Still again not bad Collins' prose benefits from the novella format altho the shifts from present tense to past can get annoying Available free from Gutenberg and worth the price

  9. says:

    Available at Gutenberg ProjectDefinitely this is not the English version of L'abîme by Charles Dickens Wilkie Collins in spite of some websitesFirst sentenceThe date is between twenty and thirty years ago The place is an English sea port The time is night And the business of the moment is—dancingI just found an interesting post concerning Dickens and Collins partnership where The Frozen Deep is also mentioned Wilkie Collins and Charles Dickens

  10. says:

    A very silly book; you will get a laugh from the ludicrous writing of Collins who knew nothing about Arctic conditions Characters construct wooden huts and beds and wear nightclothes women wear veils; men lost in the north keep to the social hierarchy even when starving and complaining of the cold and go in search of local townships on the frozen deep Also it is written to 'improve' so it all comes right in the end thanks to the operations of a benevolent god Ha