Considered by many as the founder of the crime novel, William Wilkie Collins (1824-89) was, unlike many nineteenth-century writers, a great literary success within his own lifetime. At one stage he rose to be the highest-paid Victorian writer, even eclipsing the earnings of his mentor, Charles Dickens. He had several careers in his youth, but it was writing novels that brought him fame, boosted by a certain notoriety for what many perceived as his scandalous and immoral private life.
Judith John (glossary) is a writer and editor specializing in literature and history. A former secondary school English Language and Literature teacher, she has subsequently worked as an editor on major educational projects, including English A: Literature for the Pearson International Baccalaureate series. Judith's major research interests include Romantic and Gothic literature, and Renaissance drama.
Martin Edwards (biography) is the author of eighteen novels, including the Lake District Mysteries, and the Harry Devlin series. His ground-breaking genre study The Golden Age of Murder has won the Edgar, Agatha, and H.R.F. Keating awards. He has edited twenty eight crime anthologies, has won the CWA Short Story Dagger and the CWA Margery Allingham Prize, and is series consultant for the British Library's Crime Classics. In 2015, he was elected eighth President of the Detection Club, an office previously held by G.K. Chesterton, Agatha Christie, and Dorothy L. Sayers.