Charles Dickens's The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1870)

Extollager

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Interested people may discuss here Dickens's final, and unfinished, novel.
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Extollager

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It's set in Cloisterham, which (I gather) everyone takes to be Rochester, a cathedral town.
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Extollager

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Here's original of the Nuns' House -- become a school for young ladies, another Drood locale.
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Extollager

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POSSIBLE SPOILERS

As of Chapter 8, Drood interests me, but I'm thinking that it doesn't seem fresh. Dickens seems to be reusing material from Our Mutual Friend (mid-1860s), his last completed novel.

Rosa Bud and Drood are in a predicament too close to that of Bella Wilfer and John Harmon (i.e., someone has "assigned" them to be married to one another without their consent). Rosa is pretty, childish, and spoiled like Bella (though not obsessed with money like Bella).

The tension between young Drood and Neville Landless made me think of Eugene Wrayburn and Bradley Headstone -- the fellow with social advantages coolly taunting the one who lacks them and who feels bitter resentment.

The Rosa-Helena Landless relationship reminded me a little, but not all that much, of the friendship that develops between Bella and Lizzie Hexam -- Rosa childish, soiled, provided with nice things, etc. while Helena is socially disadvantaged, loyal to her brother like Lizzie to Charley (but Neville isn't much like Charley).

Honeythunder seems a familiar Dickensian type, the self-centered, loud, philanthropic hypocrite, and Sapsea the auctioneer is a vulgar, successful businessman, glorifying himself with his design for his late wife's epitaph. It's not that new Sapsea is nothing but old Pecksniff with a new name or something like that, but maybe there's a feeling that Dickens might not have his heart in it by now.

However, as I said, the book interests me and I have no doubt I will stick with it, but perhaps, as, after all, an unfinished novel, it's something primarily for completists.

I haven't said anything about John Jasper, bored choir director and opium addict, perhaps the main character, so far.
 

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