Poor Miss Finch, by Wilkie Collins

Note to the Present Edition.

IN expressing my acknowledgments for the favorable reception accorded to the previous editions of this story, I may take the present opportunity of adverting to one of the characters, not alluded to in the Letter of Dedication. The German oculist —“Herr Grosse”— has impressed himself so strongly as a real personage on the minds of some of my readers afflicted with blindness, or suffering from diseases of the eye, that I have received several written applications requesting me to communicate his present address to patients desirous of consulting him! Sincerely appreciating the testimony thus rendered to the truth of this little study of character, I have been obliged to acknowledge to my correspondents — and I may as well repeat it here — that Herr Grosse has no (individual) living prototype. Like the other Persons of the Drama, in this book and in the books which have preceded it, he is drawn from my general observation of humanity. I have always considered it to be a mistake in Art to limit the delineation of character in fiction to a literary portrait taken from any one “sitter.” The result of this process is generally (to my mind) to produce a caricature instead of a character.

November 27th, 1872


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