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 […]

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, […]

Something Wicked This Way Comes

In this instalment Jasper’s revelations begin to confirm what astute readers may have already deduced; that he loves Rosa, a fact which may also be connected to Edwin’s disappearance, and possibly even the suspicions gathered around Neville. Jasper’s self-exposure in the ‘Shadow on the Sun-Dial’ chapter has formed the basis of many speculative portrayals of […]

Fourth monthly number: Case Notes

Not a month goes in which I do not point out the difficulty in our self-imposed limit of one page in which to summarise the monthly installment for our graphic novel, but this month more than ever the pressure is keenly felt. “When shall these three meet again” in itself could occupy several pages. As […]

Third Monthly Number June 1870

What is striking about this third monthly part is how much Dickens manages to pack into 32 pages and how much he demands from his readers. First of all the variety of tone and scene. We begin in Cloisterham, where the Rev Septimus tries to repair the damage Neville has done to his reputation by […]

Tomb Raiders

What primarily struck me about this instalment is the melancholy sense of stasis, wearisomeness, decrepitude and decomposition. It is tempting, but possibly facile, to read this tone as the sadness, or heightened sense of mortality, of an increasingly unwell, middle-aged man – a literary foreshadowing of the author’s impending death. Yet, this sense of a […]

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 Rest […]