The Mystery of Edwin Drood and Other Stories

Front Cover
Wordsworth Editions, 1998 - 436 pages

With an Introduction and Notes by Peter Preston, University of Nottingham.

Illustrations by S.L. Fildes and Hablot K. Browne (Phiz).

Dickens's final novel, left unfinished at his death, is a tale of mystery whose fast-paced action takes place in an ancient cathedral city and in some of the darkest places in nineteenth-century London. Drugs, sexual obsession, colonial adventuring and puzzles about identity are among the novel's themes. At the centre of the plot lie the baffling disappearance of Edwin Drood and the many explanations of his whereabouts. A sombre and menacing atmosphere, a fascinating range of characters and Dickens's usual superb command of language combine to make this an exciting and tantalising story.

Also included in this volume are a number of unjustly neglected stories and sketches, with subjects as different as murder and guilt and childhood romance. This unusual selection illustrates Dickens's immense creativity and versatility.

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User Review  - ncgraham - LibraryThing

This is my fifth Dickens novel. Normally I wouldn’t read a final, unfinished work so early in my perusal of an author’s oeuvre, but when I learned that the BBC was going to be airing what sounded like ... Read full review

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User Review  - denmoir - LibraryThing

Every now and then, disillusioned by modern literature, I return to Dickens. I have just read "Our Mutual Friend" Dickens wonderful word pictures of people, every character vivid and believable is far beyond anyone writing today. Read full review

Contents

p 390 measles whoopingcough a useful fairy gift since in
2
p 92 What is the matter? Who did it? see Macbeth 3 4
3
117
4
p 248 recorder for the city of London a judge in a city or borough
6
p 398 Margate a resort on the coast of Kent convenient
8
p 421 pocketankercher a colloquial pronunciation of pockethand
10
p 252 Gog and Magog a pair of legendary giants seen as pro
11
p 399 a sailingboat named the Skylark a common name for pleasure
12
p 109 kickshaw ditties cheap or worthless and in this case
153
p 112 peajacket a short woollen overcoat as worn by sailors
159
p 116 Chairs to mend the streetcry of itinerant bodgers or chair
163
p 122 little Rickitts steel drops daily These iron chloride drops
169
p 122 pomatum scented hair ointment
170
p 123 Spartan general specify Before the battle of Thermo
176
p 132 Twelfth Harlequin an ornamental cake eaten
182
mens
185

p 435 a collegeliving a clerical living in the gift of one of
14
p 255 the ward of Cheype the electoral division of the City that
17
p 260 Ludgate named after a gate supposedly built by King
22
p 281 The Old Curiosity Shop Serialisation of CDs novel in
28
p 283 Belinda a popular eighteenthcentury name often given
34
p 286 Mr Pickwick the hero of CDs first novel Pickwick Papers
35
p 292 a high sugarloaf hat conical in shape as worn in the seven
41
p 301 the Church of St Dunstan in Fleet Street one of the best
47
p 317 Bamber appears but once see Pickwick Papers Chap XXI
60
p 334 the angel at Islington A coaching inn of this name
65
p 64 The world choose John Milton 160874 Paradise Lost
104
p 72 Queen Elizabeths Tilbury fort Queen Elizabeth reviewed
110
p 74 My visits between See Robert Blair 16991740 The
116
p 76 a bear cotillion dancing bears were still exhibited in
118
p 86 japanned laquered and decorated in an Oriental style
125
p 96 Old Bourne a tributary of the Fleet which once flowed
131
25 And Judah
137
p 101 National Gallery in Trafalgar Square London designed
143
p 103 charity boy catechism a pupil at a charitable school
146
15 And
191
p 156 airy tongues that syllable mens names Milton Comus
197
p 157 grey hairs with sorrow to the grave an allusion to the story
198
1314 And Cain
204
13
210
p 165 turn heavens creatures into swine and wild beasts perhaps
216
p 171 the yet unfinished and undeveloped railway station London
221
p 180 Apollo bis lyre the god of music and poetry
228
p 192 over the housetops Railway viaducts often passing through
235
p 204 a marvellous country beanstalk another reference to Jack
239
p 213 down the airy An area is a small paved court reached
252
p 214 like a man stockings slavery Sailors usually went bare
256
p 221 he lived apart from human life Jacobson p 174 quotes
262
p 224 cabbagenets used to cook cabbages by suspending them
268
p 227 time and place are both at hand see Macbeth 1 7514 Nor
271
p 235 the one great garden of the whole cultivated island
277
Master Humphreys Clock
458
George Silvermans Explanation
464

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About the author (1998)

Charles Dickens, perhaps the best British novelist of the Victorian era, was born in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England on February 7, 1812. His happy early childhood was interrupted when his father was sent to debtors' prison, and young Dickens had to go to work in a factory at age twelve. Later, he took jobs as an office boy and journalist before publishing essays and stories in the 1830s. His first novel, The Pickwick Papers, made him a famous and popular author at the age of twenty-five. Subsequent works were published serially in periodicals and cemented his reputation as a master of colorful characterization, and as a harsh critic of social evils and corrupt institutions. His many books include Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, Bleak House, Great Expectations, Little Dorrit, A Christmas Carol, and A Tale of Two Cities. Dickens married Catherine Hogarth in 1836, and the couple had nine children before separating in 1858 when he began a long affair with Ellen Ternan, a young actress. Despite the scandal, Dickens remained a public figure, appearing often to read his fiction. He died in 1870, leaving his final novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, unfinished.

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