Something old or something new?

I laid aside the fancy I told you of and have a very curious and new idea for my new story. So wrote Dickens to Forster, of what would of course prove to be The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and the promise of Dickens’s proposition has been a curse upon interpretations of the story’s end. …

The sincerest form of flattery – Morford’s Collins-Dickens hybrid

Dickens was dead, and Drood was unfinished, with audiences clambering to know the ending while the publishers Chapman and Hall were denying the reader’s quest for closure. Their frank (and ultimately incorrect) statement at the end of the sixth number that ‘Beyond the clues therein afforded to its conduct or catastrophe, nothing whatever remains’ left …

A word from the illustrator

The world of Dickens’s last book will be rendered more tangible for The Drood Inquiry thanks to the wonderful illustrations of Alys Jones (http://alystration.wordpress.com/). Here, Alys explains the process of creating new visualisations of Dickens’s characters, along with the particular challenges and influences on her work for the project. Producing illustrations for The Drood Inquiry …

A stranger arrived in Cloisterham…

Some specialisms get all the fun when it comes to field trips. Studying Spanish? Off to Barcelona with you! Marine studies? Caribbean it is! Archeology? Go to a car park in Leicester (hang on…). But studying English invariably involves trips to the library and no further. So when the chance for a field-trip to Cloisterham came up, …

Picturing John Jasper

Dickens’s letters testify to the close relationship he had with his illustrators and the minute directions and corrections he would make to ensure the graphical depictions of his characters matched the images in his head. So it’s been a terrifying prospect to try to render the people of Cloisterham into new artwork for http://www.droodinquiry.com. Rest …

The first solution

When not fighting moral injustice, Dickens was having to fight pirates – no, sadly not the “ah-har Jim lad” variety, but literary pirates launching unauthorised versions of his tales while they were first appearing in print. All of Dickens’s novels were published initially in a serial format of either monthly or weekly instalments, which allowed plenty of …