The Narrative Significance of Dickens’ Death

Guest post by Camilla Hoel. Camilla completed her PhD on Edwin Drood and its solutions, and has since presented several conference papers, including one at the Drood Conference last year, exploring the way in which we have responded to Drood and its end. Part of the gloriously unfinished “Dickens’ Dream” by Robert William Buss (Dickens Museum). […]

New Dickens letter found

Those clever folks over at the Dickens Museum have uncovered a previously unseen letter from Dickens to his lawyer Frederick Ouvry, dated 30 October 1869, detailing the terms of his contract for The Mystery of Edwin Drood. The letter has lain buried among a collection in the basement of the lawyer’s offices and was brought […]

The Death of an Author: Pratchett and Dickens

It was with great sadness I learned of the death of Terry Pratchett yesterday. In the interest of objectivity, let me make it clear that I am very much a fan of his work, and very much in sympathy with the millions of other fans out there who are now feeling the loss of a […]

Coming of age (3): Parenthood

So far in this brief look at the process of maturity in Drood, I’ve considered the child in Deputy and the young adults in Rosa and Edwin. However what is most conspicuous about Drood is its absence of parents. Mrs Crisparkle and the Dean are the only natural parents in the text, and even then we only […]

Coming of age (2): Young adults

Last week I looked at the child figure of Deputy, but the greater focus in Drood lies on the young adults of Rosa, Edwin, Neville and Helena and their awkward position between full maturity and dependence upon a guardian. When Dickens first introduces us to Rosa, the first line in which she is described as ‘wonderfully […]

Coming of age in Drood (1): The Child

Dickens turns 203 on Saturday (that’s a lot of candles), which prompted me to consider in turn the depiction of age and growing up in Drood. Usually when discussions are held on the child in Dickens, critics turn to noted bildungsromans such as David Copperfield and Great Expectations, or the child protagonists of Oliver Twist […]

The other 1870 mystery: Thomas Hardy’s Desperate Remedies

You never know where Drood studies will take you. I was reading a 1973 article by George Wing last week comparing Dickens’s mystery story to Thomas Hardy’s mystery story. Stop the press – Thomas Hardy wrote a mystery story? Obviously, in the name of research, I had to go and check this out. Desperate Remedies, Hardy’s first […]

The Coming Storm: The Meteorology of Edwin Drood

It was a dark and stormy night… No, don’t worry, it’s not a Dickens quote, but his friend Edward Bulwer Lytton in Paul Clifford, later used frequently as an opening line by Snoopy in his dogged attempts to write literature (pun intended). The line may have become a parody of itself by now but heaven knows […]

Is this a scarf I see before me? Macbeth and Drood

By the pricking of my thumbs, Something wicked this way comes           There have been various inspirations suggested for Drood over the years, from The Moonstone to Adam Bede; Dickens frequently peppered his writing with allusions to other works so it is unsurprising that so many have been seen in parallel to […]

Christmas in Cloisterham

Christmas and Dickens. The two are so commonly linked in popular perception, and at this time of year not a day goes by without a different adaptation of A Christmas Carol on the television. No, Dickens did not invent the modern Christmas, but he certainly rode at the top of the wave ushering it in, […]