Antonina or the Fall of Rome
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Classic historical novel. According to the Preface: "To the fictitious characters alone is committed the task of representing the spirit of the age. The Roman emperor, Honorius, and the Gothic king, Alaric, mix but little personally in the business of the story--only appearing in such events, and acting under such circumstances, as the records of history strictly authorise; but exact truth in respect to time, place, and circumstance is observed in every historical event introduced in the plot, from the period of the march of the Gothic invaders over the Alps to the close of the first barbarian blockade of Rome." According to Wikipedia: "William Wilkie Collins (1824 – 1889) was an English novelist, playwright, and author of short stories. He was hugely popular in his time, and wrote 27 novels, more than 50 short stories, at least 15 plays, and over 100 pieces of non-fiction work. His best-known works are The Woman in White, The Moonstone, Armadale and No Name."