The Mystery of Edwin Drood
By Charles Dickens
(Everyman's Library, Hardcover, 9781400043286, 336pp.)
Publication Date: November 2, 2004
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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 boy’s fiancée and to plot the murder of Edwin himself.
As in many of Dickens’s 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.
Charles Dickens’s 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.
Though The Mystery of Edwin Drood is one of its author’s 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.
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)
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 Dante’s Inferno (translated by Henry Wordsworth Longfellow) and Edgar Allan Poe’s The Murders in the Rue Morgue: The Dupin Tales.