As always, the writing in Dickens is so magisterially confident that, on first reading, you are absolutely sure the author knew where he was going. After all, in every corner lurk what must surely be expertly placed clues: Jasper's black silk scarf, seemingly full of murderous intent; Mayor Sapsea 's tomb and its enormous key; that pile of quicklime crying out, "Notice me!
Some clues lead nowhere. Some are contradictory. Some just plain wrong. That pile of quicklime? Dickens seems to have believed it dissolved human flesh. Did he intend to pop a dead body into it, one that would later be identified by an undissolved ruby ring? In any case, there was more to finishing the story than solving a murder mystery.
Even his fans, of which I'm one, would have to admit that he lacked one or two core requirements of the genre, though.
Plotting, for instance. Dickens loved observation and digression and wonderful oxbow lakes of inspired daftness. But thrillers get confused by all that. Thrillers love plots. They love twists and turns and surprises. They want everything that happens to be significant, so that at the end the audience has the satisfaction of reaching the answer at exactly the same time as the storyteller.
A reconciliation is sought by Reverend Crisparkle and the two agree to meet at Jasper's on Christmas Eve. Grewgious gives Drood a ring, taken from the finger of Rosa's dead mother, with instructions to give the ring to Rosa on the date of their betrothal, and cautions him that if he has doubts of his love for Rosa that he will return the ring to Grewgious.
Drood journeys to Cloisterham from London for Christmas and meets with Rosa. They mutually agree to end their relationship as lovers and cancel their marriage plans. They also agree not to tell Jasper of their decision as Drood feels the cancellation of their impending marriage will be a shock to his uncle. They agree that Grewgious will inform Jasper of their decision.
Jasper goes with Durdles, the sexton, on a mysterious tour of the Cathedral. Durdles has the ability to tap on the tombs and determine the contents and Jasper, plying Durdles with liquor as they go, is interested in this ability. On Christmas Eve Neville plans for a two week walking tour during the holidays. That evening Neville and Edwin meet at Jasper's for the reconciliation as a terrible storm hits the area. The two leave together to walk down to the river to observe the effect of the storm. Next morning, Christmas Day, as the townspeople observe the damage done by the storm, Jasper informs them that Edward Drood is missing.
Suspicion is cast upon Neville and he, having left early in the morning on his walking tour, is brought back to town by a group of townspeople. Neville angrily declares his innocence and, lacking hard evidence, is released by Mayor Sapsea to Reverend Crisparkle. Foul play in Drood's disappearance is confirmed when Crisparkle finds Drood's watch and shirt-pin in the river. Grewgious informs Jasper of Edwin and Rosa's decision to break off their engagement and Jasper is deeply upset. Jasper vows to find the killer of his nephew. Six months pass and Neville, shunned by the town, has been spirited away to London by Crisparkle in chambers near Grewgious in Staple Inn.
Grewgious spots Jasper lurking nearby apparently watching Neville. Back in Cloisterham, Jasper meets Rosa, declares his love for her, and swears revenge against Neville for the death of Edwin. Rosa, terrified of Jasper, flees to London and confides her fears to Grewgious. Grewgious finds her lodging with Mrs Billickin. A mysterious visitor appears in Cloisterham, Dick Datchery, a man of indeterminate age with an unusually thick shock of white hair and a military bearing.
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He seems to take covert interest in John Jasper and takes lodging near Jasper's. He hires the boy, Deputy, to watch Jasper and keeps a log of his findings in chalk on his cupboard.
Jasper, meanwhile, has visited Puffer, the opium woman in London and in an opium trance he relates information of a strange, metaphorical journey that he has taken many times. His first fancy for the tale was expressed in a letter in the middle of July. The interest to arise out of the tracing of their separate ways, and the impossibility of telling what will be done with that impending fate. I first heard of the later design in a letter dated "Friday the 6th of August ", in which after speaking, with the usual unstinted praise he bestowed always on what moved him in others, of a little tale he had received for his journal, he spoke of the change that had occurred to him for the new tale by himself.
Solving the Mystery of Edwin Drood
Not a communicable idea or the interest of the book would be gone , but a very strong one, though difficult to work. The last chapters were to be written in the condemned cell, to which his wickedness, all elaborately elicited from him as if told of another, had brought him.
Discovery by the murderer of the utter needlessness of the murder for its object, was to follow hard upon commission of the deed; but all discovery of the murderer was to be baffled till towards the close, when, by means of a gold ring which had resisted the corrosive effects of the lime into which he had thrown the body, not only the person murdered was to be identified but the locality of the crime and the man who committed it. So much was told to me before any of the book was written; and it will be recollected that the ring, taken by Drood to be given to his betrothed only if their engagement went on, was brought away with him from their last interview.
Rosa was to marry Tartar, and Crisparkle the sister of Landless, who was himself, I think, to have perished in assisting Tartar finally to unmask and seize the murderer. Although the killer is not revealed, it is generally believed that John Jasper, Edwin's uncle, is the murderer. There are three reasons:. Datchery appears some time after Edwin's disappearance and keeps a close eye on Jasper. There are hints that he is in disguise, and this theme has been taken up in adaptations of the story which try to solve the mystery: in the movie production of the story, starring Claude Rains as Jasper, Datchery is Neville Landless in disguise.
A strong argument can be made for Datchery being Tartar. Datchery is described at one point as walking with his hands clasped behind him — "as the wont of such buffers is", a walking stance frequently associated with naval officers pacing a quarter-deck. Frequently there are similar expressions used to describe both characters.
The Mystery of Edwin Drood was scheduled to be published in twelve instalments shorter than Dickens's usual twenty from April to February , each costing one shilling and illustrated by Luke Fildes. Only six of the instalments were completed before Dickens's death in It was therefore approximately half finished.
CHAPTER II—A DEAN, AND A CHAPTER ALSO
Supplying a conclusion to The Mystery of Edwin Drood has occupied writers from the time of Dickens' death to the present day. The first three attempts to complete the story were undertaken by Americans. Kerr in ,  was as much a parody as a continuation, transplanting the story to the United States. It is a "burlesque" farce rather than a serious attempt to continue in the spirit of the original story.
The second ending was written by Henry Morford, a New York journalist. He travelled to Rochester with his wife and published the ending serially during his stay in England from — In this ending, Edwin Drood survives Jasper's murder attempt. Datchery is Bazzard in disguise, but Helena disguises herself as well to overhear Jasper's mumbling under the influence of opium. The third attempt was perhaps the most unusual.
In , a Brattleboro, Vermont printer, Thomas Power James , published a version which he claimed had been literally 'ghost-written' by him channeling Dickens' spirit. Other Drood scholars disagree. John C.
The Mystery of Edwin Drood (TV Mini-Series – ) - IMDb
Walters "dismiss[ed it] with contempt", stating that the work "is self-condemned by its futility, illiteracy, and hideous American mannerisms; the mystery itself becomes a nightmare, and the solution only deepens the obscurity. Out of 15, responses, the overwhelming verdict was that Jasper killed his own nephew and stashed his body in the church crypt, the same solution proposed by Dickens' friends and family. John Jasper played by Frederick T.