Have you seen the size of this book? Well, fear not! I’m here to help you, here is The Narrative of Walter Hartright from The Woman In White by Wilkie Collins – the bits that you really need to know.
Walter: My Name is Walter Hartright, I am a poor, drawing teacher!
[Walter meets a woman dressed in white on the streets. He shows her the way to London.]
Random Men: Hark, You there! Have you seen a women dressed in white? She escaped from an asylum. We need to find her.
Walter: I have no idea what you’re talking about. [Runs away!]
Marian: I am Marian Halcombe, I am intelligent, witty, great in conversation and have a GREAT body, but, alas, I am ugly and have a mustache.
Walter: Marian, you are great to talk to. I met a random woman on the street. Some people said she was mad, but I threw them off her trail.
Marian: Oh, she sounds dreadfully familiar. Let me read letters to see how I know of her! BTW, my sister is a million times prettier than I am.
Laura: I’m Laura Fairlie. I’m so pretty, and quiet and gentle and I love drawing and walking with my dog. Oh how pretty are the flowers. Like me!
Walter: I am in love!
Laura: [quiet and gentle]
Walter: Every time we draw together I want to act inappropriately and hold your hand.
Laura: [quiet and gentle]
Marian: I have figured it out! Look, Walter, the woman you met has to be Anne Catherick, a girl who my mother took in and here, she dressed her in white and told her that was the best colour for her.
Marian: Wait! The best part, she looks just like …
[Laura, dressed in white stops in front of them]
Walter: Your half-sister! Fascinating!
[Laura begins to act withdrawn]
Walter: Oh no! Laura must know I am in love with her and now she’s acting coolly towards me. This is so awkward.
Marian: Walter, we need to talk. Walk with me.
[Passes random gardener]
Marian: You, Gardener, what do you have there?
Gardener: A letter for Laura.
Marian: Let me see that. [Looks at envelope, gives it back to gardener] OK, carry on.
Marian: Walter, you are in love with my sister. You must leave immediately!
Walter: I’m sorry!
Marian: She’s engaged to be married. You cannot pursue her. He future husband comes to visit and you must leave so you do not cause her pain.
Walter: I’ll leave immediately.
Marian: No, you can’t! Wait until the post comes and then pretend that you need to go back home. My half sister’s uncle will let you go then.
Walter: You are so wise and brilliant and such a great conversationist with a good figure. Too bad you’re ugly. I mean, thank you.
Marian: Oh Walter, my sister is distressed! Someone wrote a letter warning her not to marry Sir Percival Glyde, the older man that she is betrothed to!
Walter: Oh, whatever will you do?
Marian: I must figure this out, as my sister is too quiet and gentle to figure things out on her own and she is distressed!
Walter: I will help you!
Walter: I am going to take a walk by this graveyard! Hark, is that the woman in white? The Anne Catherick? You wrote that letter! Laura knows it is about Sir Percival.
Anne: I shall react strongly to the mention of that man’s name!
Walter: Since you reacted so strongly, it is no doubt that Sir Percival was the one who placed you in the asylum.
Anne: I will now disappear!
Walter: Marian, you have to go see Anne, she will tell you that Sir Percival is evil!
Marian: I will look into this because my beautiful sister cannot do anything for herself.
Walter: Right. Now I must ask Mr. Fairlie about my leave. Dear Frederick Fairlie, I must leave your employment.
Fredrick: No, you cannot! But if you must. Ok fine. Go!
Walter: Let us go see Anne. I am now realizing what a great friend you are and how great your company and conversation is. It’s a shame you have a mustache.
Marian: Oh look, here’s the place where Anne stayed. Hello! Is Anne there?
Mrs. Todd: They are not here, they have left!
Marian: How peculiar. We must question everyone only to find out that Anne knew that Sir Percival was coming and so she left. This will take us a longer time than normal.
Walter: Well. See? Sir Percival is evil!
Walter: It’s my last day, I will reminisce about all the things that happened to cause me to love Laura. She drew well, she is beautiful and gentle and kind. She asked about my family.
[The most awkward dinner ever occurs]
Walter: Laura plays so beautiful
Laura: I’m sorry you are going.
Walter: I will stay here and make you nervous even though I know I shouldn’t. You are just too beautiful.
Marian: Walter, come over here and leave my sister alone. I mean, and play cards.
Walter: Ok everyone, time for me to go. Laura, let us have a very strange encounter before I leave as it is the only time since the beginning of this story that the reader can see what a kind, gentle and beautiful woman you are, if only because you gave me a lovely drawing. It will also be the time where the reader will see that you are in love with me, even though the reader doesn’t know why you love me.
To be continued in The Narrative of Vincent Gilmore