The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Paperback Book

The Mystery of Edwin Drood Paperback

Illustrated by S. L. Fildes, Hablot K., (Phiz) Browne

Part of the Wordsworth Classics series

4 out of 5 (3 ratings)


With an Introduction and Notes by Peter Preston, University of Nottingham. Illustrations by S.L. Fildes and Hablot K. Browne (Phiz). Dickens's final novel, left unfinished at his death, is a tale of mystery whose fast-paced action takes place in an ancient cathedral city and in some of the darkest places in nineteenth-century London.

Drugs, sexual obsession, colonial adventuring and puzzles about identity are among the novel's themes.

At the centre of the plot lie the baffling disappearance of Edwin Drood and the many explanations of his whereabouts.

A sombre and menacing atmosphere, a fascinating range of characters and Dickens's usual superb command of language combine to make this an exciting and tantalising story. Also included in this volume are a number of unjustly neglected stories and sketches, with subjects as different as murder and guilt and childhood romance.

This unusual selection illustrates Dickens's immense creativity and versatility.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
  • ISBN: 9781853267291

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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

Dickens's last, half finished novel. This is reasonably fast paced compared to some of the author's works. It is a great shame he died before this could be completed as the elements of a good mystery are there and it leaves off at what feels like the threshold of a fairly significant revelation. As ever, some colourful characters and great language. But why is it written in the present tense?Other stories in this collection not yet read.

Review by

A mixed and interesting collection of shorter stories (MED reviewed separately):Master Humphrey's Clock - engaging and heart warming for the most part, though I found the Weller parts tiresome because of the vernacular of their speech. Hunted Down - an interesting little mystery with several twists. Holiday Romance - a very amusing story told by four children, showing their view of the world and of adults. George Silverman's Explanation - a story of a man shaped by the influences of the grinding poverty of his childhood and his adolescent experiences of religious poverty. Becomes a bit less hard-edged as it goes on into his life as a tutor, though.

Review by

In cloisteresque Cloisterham, John 'Jack' Jasper lives with his ward and nephew, Mister Edwin Drood, and teaches music to Drood's own betrothed-the beguiling Rosa. Meanwhile, arriving at Cloisterham, the Landless twins, Neville and Helena of exotic advantage, cause a disruption to the quiet and monotonous lives of those in this Cathedral City.<br/><br/><br/>Charles Dickens died before he could finish this novel. He wrote twenty-three chapters, each one carefully planned and written before giving it to be published in serial format, as were all his others. <i>The Mystery of Edwin Drood</i> is indeed probably the greatest mystery of all, and we as readers and fans of Dickens must accept the fact.<br/><br/>It's a hard fact to accept, however. I cannot fully understand this feeling within me; not one I've felt after finishing (in-as-much as one can finish this book) any book, or at least <i>very few</i> books. There is the obvious adoration for such a talented and captivating writer; there is the subdued anger that often Dickens can write so magnificently about nothing; there is the dismay at the knowledge that I knew it was unfinished when I went in; and of course there is the embarrassment of feeling let down despite of that fact.<br/><br/>What more can I say? It is Dickens. Do not start with this if you are new to him: but do not end with it, either. It may have been his last, but do not let it be yours.

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