Wilkie Collins's aim in The Woman in White was, according to a friend, to inspire 'the "creepy" effect, as pounded ice dropped down the back'. Since the novel's first publication in 1860, generations of readers have experienced just this sensation. It famously opens with Walter Hartright's eerie encounter on the moonlit London road. Engaged as a drawing master to beautiful Laura Fairlie, Walter is drawn into the sinister intrigues of Sir Percival Glyde and his 'charming' friend Count Fosco, who has a taste for white mice, vanilla bonbons and poison. Pursuing questions of identity and insanity along the corridors of English country houses and the madhouse, The Woman in White is the first and most influential of the Victorian 'sensation' novels, a phenomenon explored in detail in Matthew Sweet's new Introduction. This edition contains three appendices including a synopsis of the play Collins produced of his novel and its reception and an account of the composition of the novel.