David Timson talks about Charles Dickens, much loved for his great contribution to classic English Literature.
The Mystery of Edwin Drood is Charles Dickens'sbrilliant contribution to the field of crime and detection. In fact, the novel is even more of a mystery than Dickens himself intended, for he died before completing it, making it a favorite of literary detectives.
"Only for Dickens Fans!"
Left unfinished after Dickens died in 1870, The Mystery of Edwin Drood centers on Edwin Drood’s uncle, John Jasper, and his love for Rosa Bud, Edwin’s fiancée. Set in the dark, fictional cathedral city of Cloisterham, the novel is awash with guilt, disguise and mystery. It contains some fine writing, and just before his death, Dickens left an indication of where the plot was going, which is included.
"An Unfinished Potential Dark Classic"
Published after his death, Dickens brilliantly brings to life a broad cast of colorful characters in the never solved mysterious disappearance of one Edwin Drood, all set in the rural hamlet of Cloisterham around the Cathedral close. Against a background of opium dens, nocturnal graveyard visits, and moldering monastic crypts, Dickens weaves a tightly knit plot centered on the ominous disappearance of young Edwin Drood.
When young Edwin Drood disappears, suspicion centers on John Jasper, a drug-addicted choirmaster who hungers after Drood's fiancé. So does Neville Landless, a Ceylonese who has previously quarreled violently with the missing man. The mystery if further enhanced because it was left unfinished at the author's death. Thus the book has challenged the imagination of generations of readers.
"The production is awful"
Written in 1890, the story is a murder mystery in which Edwin Drood is supposedly murdered. The novel investigated the characters in a distinctly Dickensian manner from the suspicious and tormented Jasper to the Reverend Crisparkle to Princess Puffer, the enigmatic Datchery and finally the gravedigger and his obnoxious but perceptive boy assistant. But who is the murderer? We will never know.
"Avoid! Get another narrator."
Writer Frances Fyfield uses the manuscript of Dickens's last, unfinished, novel to work on the mystery of what happened to the book's eponymous hero, Edwin Drood. First broadcast: BBC Radio 4, 19 January 2012.
The novel begins as a man, who we later learn is John Jasper, leaves a London opium den. The next evening, Edwin Drood visits Jasper, his uncle, who is the choirmaster at Cloisterham Cathedral. Edwin confides that he has misgivings about his betrothal to Rosa Bud.