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 …

Call for Papers: “The Mystery of Edwin Drood: Solutions and Resolutions”

The Drood Inquiry, in partnership with the Victorian Popular Fiction Association, is happy to announce its forthcoming conference on 20 September 2014 at Senate House, London, and we warmly invite you to come along and have your say!              Charles Dickens’s last novel, unfinished as it is, has become a call to arms to a legion of fans, academics …

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 …

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 …