Authors & Events
Oct 06, 2009
| ISBN 9780812980455
Nov 02, 2004
| ISBN 9781400043286
Oct 06, 2009
| ISBN 9781588368713
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Oct 06, 2009 | ISBN 9780812980455
Nov 02, 2004 | ISBN 9781400043286
Oct 06, 2009 | ISBN 9781588368713
The Mystery of Edwin Drood is a novel that is itself the subject of one of literature’s most enduring mysteries. The story recounts the troubled romance of Rosa Bud and the book’s eponymous character, who later vanishes. Was Drood murdered, and if so by whom? All clues point to John Jasper, Drood’s lugubrious uncle, who coveted Rosa. Or did Drood orchestrate his own disappearance? As Charles Dickens died before finishing the book, the ending is intriguingly ambiguous.In his Introduction, Matthew Pearl illuminates the 150-year-long quest to unravel The Mystery of Edwin Drood and lends new insight into the novel, the literary milieu of 1870s England, and the private life of Charles Dickens. This Modern Library edition includes new endnotes and a full transcript of “The Trial of John Jasper for the Murder of Edwin Drood,” the 1914 mock court case presided over and argued by the likes of G. K. Chesterton and George Bernard Shaw. Now diehard fans, new readers, and armchair detectives have another opportunity to solve the mystery Dickens took to his grave.
Central to the plot is John Jasper: in public he is a man of integrity and benevolence; in private he is an opium addict. And while seeming to smile on the engagement of his nephew, Edwin Drood, he is, in fact, consumed by jealousy, driven to terrify the boy’s fiancée and to plot the murder of Edwin himself. As in many of Dickens’s greatest novels, the gulf between appearance and reality drives the action. Set in the seemingly innocuous cathedral town of Cloisterham, the story rapidly darkens with a sense of impending evil. Charles Dickens’s final, unfinished novel is in many ways his most intriguing. A highly atmospheric tale of murder, The Mystery of Edwin Drood foreshadows both the detective stories of Conan Doyle and the nightmarish novels of Kafka.Though The Mystery of Edwin Drood is one of its author’s darkest books, it also bustles with a vast roster of memorable–and delightfully named–minor characters: Mrs. Billikins, the landlady; the foolish Mr. Sapsea; the domineering philanthropist, Mr. Honeythunder; and the mysterious Datchery. Several attempts have been made over the years to complete the novel and solve the mystery, but even in its unfinished state it is a gripping and haunting masterpiece.
Charles Dickens was born in a little house in Landport, Portsea, England, on February 7, 1812. The second of eight children, he grew up in a family frequently beset by financial insecurity. When the family fortunes improved, Charles went back to… More about Charles Dickens
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