If you’ve seen "The Sixth Sense" with Bruce Willis, you’ll be familiar with Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome: deliberately making a person feel unwell in order to care for them. In "Jezebel’s Daughter", the poisonous Mrs Fontaine does exactly that in a plan to get her daughter, Minna, married. This is a story of romance and what happens when parents get too involved in their children’s marriages.
Centred around a business based in London and Frankfort (or Frankfurt as we say today), "Jezebel’s Daughter" offers distinctive Victorian characters. Fritz Keller, the son of a partner of the business, is in love with Minna Fontaine. Meanwhile, the kindly proto-feminist Mrs Wagner runs the London office which employs women. She is caring for a patient, Jack, from the Bedlam psychiatric hospital.
This thriller of a tale culminates when Mrs Fontaine, Mrs Wagner, and Jack all clash in a gothic plot that will determine the happy ending of Fritz and Minna. London-born Wilke Collins (1824-1889) became known in Victorian England for his novels and plays, sometimes writing together with Charles Dickens. His most famous works, "The Woman in White" (1859) and "The Moonstone" (1868), are examples of the first modern detective novels.