David N. Saunders: The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Part II, The Solution

Отправлено 16 июл. 2013 г., 11:30 пользователем Sven Karsten   [ обновлено 16 июл. 2013 г., 11:30 ]

When Charles Dickens died in 1870, he left behind him the greatest unsolved mystery in the history of literature. So parsimonious was Dickens with his clues that the most widely accepted “solution” among cognoscenti to this day is that Edwin Drood was killed by his drug-addled uncle, John Jasper. Most readers find this answer emotionally unsatisfactory; the one person we may be sure did not kill Edwin Drood was John Jasper.

Dick­ens died at the height of his pow­ers, yet so sub­tle were the clues he placed in Drood that many be­lieve he had lost con­trol of the novel’s di­rec­tion. He had, in fact, suc­cess­ful­ly hid­den not only the true killer’s iden­ti­ty but an­oth­er mur­der, as well, a mur­der no-one seems to have no­ticed. There are many other small mys­ter­ies scat­tered through­out the text: who is the Princess Puffer, who the hor­rid boy Winks, what ghost did Dur­dles hear while sleep­ing it off? Close ex­am­i­na­tion of the text re­veals that Dick­ens did, in­deed, sprin­kle clues here and there. Not enough clues to recre­ate the full fu­ture of the story but enough, cer­tain­ly, to solve the main puz­zle and most of the less­er ones. Enough to point to a very ex­cit­ing con­clu­sion.

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