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The Mystery of Edwin Drood

The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens
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The Mystery of Edwin Drood is the final novel by Charles Dickens. It is a mystery indeed; the serial novel was just half completed at the time of Dickens’ death – leading to much speculation how it might have ended.
The novel is named after Edwin Drood, one of the characters, but it mostly tells the story of his uncle, a choirmaster named John Jasper, who is in love with his pupil, Rosa Bud. Miss Bud is Drood’s fiancée, and has also caught the eye of the high-spirited and hot-tempered Neville Landless! Landless comes from Ceylon with his twin sister, Helena. Neville Landless and Edwin Drood take a dislike to one another the moment they meet.
The story is set in Cloisterham, a lightly fictionalised Rochester (in Kent, England). Rochester is close to Dicken’s country house Gad’s Hill Place, where the final chapter was written and where Dickens died.
Adapted by Alan Chant from the Edwin Drood entry in Wikipedia.

First Page:

THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD

[Picture: Rochester castle]

CHAPTER I—THE DAWN

An ancient English Cathedral Tower? How can the ancient English Cathedral tower be here! The well known massive gray square tower of its old Cathedral? How can that be here! There is no spike of rusty iron in the air, between the eye and it, from any point of the real prospect. What is the spike that intervenes, and who has set it up? Maybe it is set up by the Sultan’s orders for the impaling of a horde of Turkish robbers, one by one. It is so, for cymbals clash, and the Sultan goes by to his palace in long procession. Ten thousand scimitars flash in the sunlight, and thrice ten thousand dancing girls strew flowers. Then, follow white elephants caparisoned in countless gorgeous colours, and infinite in number and attendants. Still the Cathedral Tower rises in the background, where it cannot be, and still no writhing figure is on the grim spike. Stay! Is the spike so low a thing as the rusty spike on the top of a post of an old bedstead that has tumbled all awry? Some vague period of drowsy laughter must be devoted to the consideration of this possibility... Continue reading book >>


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