Abigail Frye: Edwin Drood: Creative Ending

Jasper, stung by Rosa’s obvious rejection, found himself at the opium den. Princess puffer greeted Jasper. She showed him her new piece of jewelry that she found the other morning under the bed. Jasper looked closely. Attached to a chain around her neck looked familiar. It finally clicked it was Drood’s ring! So, it was true then. Jasper recognized that very ring from his dreams about murdering Edwin. Apparently, those dreams were not just dreams. Jasper took Princess Puffer’s chain with the ring. The crushing realization that Jasper had murdered his own nephew while he was high, sunk in. Princess puffer, finding Jasper inconsolable, laid Jasper on the bed and gave him the opium he had come for. Later, people were informed of Jasper’s unfortunate overdose at the opium den. Drood’s ring, found in Jasper’s possession at the time of his death, was returned to Mr. Grewgious, who informed everyone that Jasper must have stolen the ring after he killed Drood.

Rosa remained in Cloisterham after the town’s discovery, however she didn’t marry. Instead, she stayed at the school with Mrs. Twinkleton and became a schoolteacher for the young girls of Cloisterham.

Helena also continued to live in Cloisterham and stayed great friends with Rosa. Once Rosa found a white wig among Helena’s collection of things, but she decided against asking her about it.

As for Dick Datchery, he removed himself from Cloisterham very quickly after Jasper’s death and murder of Drood were revealed.

Helena’s brother did not have the grand fortune his sister. After the news of his innocence spread, Neville was able to come out of hiding. However, his innocence didn’t last long as his temper caused trouble at a local pub. Neville faced transportation for life after his temper got the best of him.

As the ancient tombs of the cathedral grew warm with the rising sun, the characters still in Cloisterham awoke with a newly found sense of serenity. Now that the mystery was solved, the town watched in anticipation of the rebirth of a new era for Cloisterham. Somewhere down below the cathedral, Durdles occasionally walked past Jasper’s grave.


I chose to have Jasper accidentally murder Drood while he was high, because there were multiple references of Jasper dreaming of murdering Drood while on opium. For example, right at the end of the novel, Jasper starts to question whether his dreams were really just dreams. He discusses some of these fears with Princess Puffer. Dickens writes, “‘Well; I have told you, I did it, here, hundreds of thousands of times. What do I say? I did it millions and billions of times. I did it so often and through such vast expanses of time, that when it was really done, it seemed not worth the doing, it was done so soon’”(210). There were also other passages of the novel where, like this moment, Jasper specifically references killing Drood. Though Jasper seems like the obvious (mostly too obvious) choice for the murder in this novel, I chose to frame the ending in a way where it was more accidental and related to Jasper’s opium habit.

I also chose to have Helena be Dick Datchery because she had dressed as a man in the past. Helena was also very protective of her brother, Neville. I felt Helena’s motivations to dress as Dick and investigate Drood’s disappearance were rooted in proving Neville’s innocence and clearing his name. One of the reasons why I feel Dick Datchery is Helena is because Datchery refers to Mr. Sapsea as His Honor. Dickens writes, “‘Would His Honour allow me to inquire whether there are strong suspicions of any one’”(168). This phrasing points to Helena as Datchery in disguise because there really aren’t any other characters that would refer to Mr. Sapsea in that way.

Overall, the novel needed to end with Jasper as the murder because the passages pointing to Jasper as the murderer were too convincing to ignore. Helena also felt like the most logical character to fill the role of Dick Datchery because of her relationships with the other characters like Neville and Rosa.