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The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Modern Library Classics)by Charles Dickens
Synopses & Reviews
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)
Charles Dickenss 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.
As in many of Dickenss 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. 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 boys fiancée and to plot the murder of Edwin himself. Though The Mystery of Edwin Drood is one of its authors 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.
From the Hardcover edition.
The Mystery of Edwin Drood is a novel that is itself the subject of one of literatures most enduring mysteries. The story recounts the troubled romance of Rosa Bud and the books eponymous character, who later vanishes. Was Drood murdered, and if so by whom? All clues point to John Jasper, Droods 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.
About the Author
Charles Dickens is the author of such timeless classics as Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, A Tale of Two Cities, and Great Expectations.
Matthew Pearl is the New York Times bestselling author of The Dante Club, The Poe Shadow, and The Last Dickens. He is the editor of the Modern Library editions of Dantes Inferno (translated by Henry Wordsworth Longfellow) and Edgar Allan Poes The Murders in the Rue Morgue: The Dupin Tales.
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