The Mystery of Edwin Drood

The Mystery of Edwin Drood

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by Charles John Huffam Dickens
     
 

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The Mystery of Edwin Drood is the final novel by Charles Dickens. The novel was left unfinished at the time of Dickens' death, and thus how it might have ended remains unknown. The novel is named after Edwin Drood, but it mostly tells the story of his uncle, a choirmaster named John Jasper, who is in love with his pupil, Rosa Bud. Miss Bud is Drood's fiancée

Overview

The Mystery of Edwin Drood is the final novel by Charles Dickens. The novel was left unfinished at the time of Dickens' death, and thus how it might have ended remains unknown. The novel is named after Edwin Drood, but it mostly tells the story of his uncle, a choirmaster named John Jasper, who is in love with his pupil, Rosa Bud. Miss Bud is Drood's fiancée and has also caught the eye of the high-spirited and hot-tempered Neville Landless, who comes from Ceylon with his twin sister, Helena. Neville Landless and Drood take a dislike to one another the moment they meet. Drood later disappears under mysterious circumstances. Dickens died before he could finish the mystery.
The story is set in Cloisterham, a lightly fictionalised Rochester, and feelingly evokes the atmosphere of the town as much as its streets and buildings.
The novel begins as a man, who we later learn is John Jasper, leaves a London opium den.[4] 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. The next day, Edwin visits Rosa at the Nuns' House, the boarding school where she lives. They quarrel good-naturedly, which they apparently do frequently during his visits. Meanwhile, having an interest in the cathedral cemetery, Jasper seeks the company of Durdles, a man who knows more about the cemetery than anyone else.
Neville Landless and his twin sister Helena are sent to Cloisterham for their education. Neville will study with the minor canon, Rev. Mr Crisparkle; Helena will live at the Nuns' House with Rosa. Neville confides to Rev. Mr Crisparkle that he had hated his cruel stepfather, while Rosa confides to Helena that she loathes and fears her music-master, Jasper. Neville is immediately smitten with Rosa and is indignant that Edwin prizes his betrothal lightly. Edwin provokes him and he reacts violently, giving Jasper the opportunity to spread rumours about Neville's reputation of having a violent temper. Rev. Mr Crisparkle tries to reconcile Edwin and Neville, who agrees to apologize to Edwin if the former will forgive him. It is arranged that they will dine together for this purpose on Christmas Eve at Jasper's home.
Rosa's guardian, Mr. Grewgious, tells her that she has a substantial inheritance from her father. When she asks whether there would be any forfeiture if she did not marry Edwin, he replies that there would be none on either side. Back at his office in London, Mr. Grewgious gives Edwin a ring which Rosa's father had given to her mother, with the proviso that Edwin must either give the ring to Rosa as a sign of his irrevocable commitment to her, or return it to Mr. Grewgious. Mr. Bazzard, Mr. Grewgious's clerk, witnesses this transaction.
Next day, Rosa and Edwin amicably agree to end their betrothal.
They decide to ask Mr. Grewgious to break the news to Jasper, and Edwin intends to return the ring to Mr. Grewgious. Meanwhile, Durdles takes Jasper into the cathedral crypt. On the way there Durdles points out a mound of quicklime. Jasper provides a bottle of wine to Durdles. The wine is mysteriously potent, and Durdles soon loses consciousness; while unconscious he dreams that Jasper goes off by himself in the crypt. As they return from the crypt, they encounter a boy called Deputy, and Jasper, thinking he was spying on them, takes him by the throat, but seeing that this will strangle him, lets him go.
On Christmas Eve, Neville buys himself a heavy walking stick; he plans to spend his Christmas break hiking around the countryside. Meanwhile, Edwin visits a jeweller in order to repair his pocket watch; it is mentioned that the only pieces of jewellery that he wears are the watch and chain and a shirt pin. By chance he meets a woman, who is an opium user from London. She asks Drood's Christian name, and he replies that it is 'Edwin'; she says he is fortunate it is not 'Ned,' for 'Ned' is in great danger. He thinks nothing of this, for the only person who calls him 'Ned' is Jasper. Meanwhile, Jasper buys himself a black scarf of strong silk, which is not seen again during the course of the novel. The reconciliation dinner is successful, and at midnight, Drood and Neville Landless leave together to go down to the river and look at a wind storm that rages that night.
The next morning Edwin is missing, and Jasper spreads suspicion that Neville has killed him. Neville leaves early in the morning for his hike; the townspeople overtake him and bring him back to the city. Rev. Mr Crisparkle keeps Neville out of jail by taking responsibility for him: he will produce him anytime his presence is required. That night Jasper is grief stricken when Mr. Grewgious informs him that Edwin and Rosa had ended their betrothal; he reacts more strongly to this news than to the prospect that Edwin was dead. The next morning Rev. Mr Crisparkle goes to the river weir and finds Edwin's watch...

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940012662934
Publisher:
JC PUB NETWORKS
Publication date:
04/07/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
1 MB

Meet the Author

Charles John Huffam Dickens (February 1812 – 9 June 1870) was the most popular English novelist of the Victorian era, and he remains popular, responsible for some of English literature's most iconic characters.
Many of his novels, with their recurrent concern for social reform, first appeared in magazines in serialised form, a popular format at the time. Unlike other authors who completed entire novels before serialisation, Dickens often created the episodes as they were being serialized. The practice lent his stories a particular rhythm, punctuated by cliffhangers to keep the public looking forward to the next installment. The continuing popularity of his novels and short stories is such that they have never gone out of print.
His work has been praised for its realism, mastery of prose, and unique personalities by writers such as George Gissing, Leo Tolstoy and G. K. Chesterton; though others, such as Henry James and Virginia Woolf, criticized it for sentimentality and implausibility.
In 1842, Dickens and his wife made his first trip to the United States and Canada, a journey which was successful in spite of his support for the abolition of slavery. It is described in the travelogue American Notes for General Circulation and is also the basis of some of the episodes in Martin Chuzzlewit. Dickens includes in Notes a powerful condemnation of slavery, with "ample proof" of the "atrocities" he found. He called upon President John Tyler at the White House.
During his visit, Dickens spent a month in New York City, giving lectures, raising support for copyright laws, and recording many of his impressions of America. He met such luminaries as Washington Irving and William Cullen Bryant. On 14 February 1842, a Boz Ball was held in his honour at the Park Theater, with 3,000 guests. Among the neighbourhoods he visited were Five Points, Wall Street, The Bowery, and the prison known as The Tombs. At this time Georgina Hogarth, another sister of Catherine, joined the Dickens household, now living at Devonshire Terrace, Marylebone, to care for the young family they had left behind. She remained with them as housekeeper, organiser, adviser and friend until her brother-in-law's death in 1870.
Shortly thereafter, he began to show interest in Unitarian Christianity, although he remained an Anglican for the rest of his life. Dickens's work continued to be popular, especially A Christmas Carol written in 1843, which was reputedly a potboiler wri

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The mystery of Edwin Drood 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Two years ago, my school put the musical versoin of it on. It was really cool. Each night the audience choose the ending or what happens next. I fell in love with the story so I bought the book and read it cover to cover. You sohuld read it. It is fun to think and pretend what happens after the writing stops. What was the ending going to be? *****************
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Delmare5 More than 1 year ago
Don't even attempt to read this OCR copy of EDWIN DROOD. My version was downloaded from google. There are too many errors to be comprehensible.
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