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No Name (1862) by Wilkie Collins is a 19th-century novel revolving around the issue of illegitimacy. It was originally serialised in Charles Dickens' magazine All the Year Round before book publication.
The story begins in 1846, at Combe-Raven in West Somerset, the country residence of the happy Vanstone family. In the first scene, the reader is introduced to Mr. Andrew Vanstone, Mrs. Vanstone, and their two daughters Norah, age 26, happy and quiet, and the irrepressible Magdalen, just 18, beautiful but with a steely jaw. They live in peace and contentment, looked after by their governess, Miss Garth. Magdalen likes nothing better than to read at her window while her personal maid combs through and through her long hair. "Private theatricals!" is the cry as she signs up for a performance of Sheridan's The Rivals. She finds she is a talented actress and falls in love with Frank Clare, the good for nothing but handsome son of a neighbour, whom she entices into the play. They are to be married, their fathers agree, and then the bottom drops out of their world. Mr. Vanstone is killed in a local train crash, and Mrs. Vanstone dies in childbirth. The girls discover from the lawyer, Mr. Pendril, that their parents have only been married a few months, and the wedding invalidated their will (which left everything to the daughters). The daughters have no name, no rights, and no property, and the entire family fortune is inherited by Andrew's older brother, Michael Vanstone, who has been estranged from the family for many years. With the help only of their loyal governess Miss Garth, the two girls set out to make their own way in the world.