The Mystery of Edwin Drood is a novel that is itself the subject of one of literature’ s most enduring mysteries. The story recounts the troubled romance of Rosa Bud and the book’s eponymous character, who later vanishes. Was Drood murdered, and if so by whom? All clues point to John Jasper, Drood’s lugubrious uncle, who coveted Rosa. Or did Drood orchestrate his own disappearance? As Charles Dickens died before finishing the book, the ending is intriguingly ambiguous.
In his Introduction, Matthew Pearl illuminates the 150-year-long quest to unravel The Mystery of Edwin Drood and lends new insight into the novel, the literary milieu of 1870s England, and the private life of Charles Dickens. This Modern Library edition includes new endnotes and a full transcript of “The Trial of John Jasper for the Murder of Edwin Drood,” the 1914 mock court case presided over and argued by the likes of G. K. Chesterton and George Bernard Shaw. Now diehard fans, new readers, and armchair detectives have another opportunity to solve the mystery Dickens took to his grave.
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Charles Dickens is the author of such timeless classics as Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, A Tale of Two Cities, and Great Expectations.
Matthew Pearl is the New York Times bestselling author of The Dante Club, The Poe Shadow, and The Last Dickens. He is the editor of the Modern Library editions of Dante’s Inferno (translated by Henry Wordsworth Longfellow) and Edgar Allan Poe’s The Murders in the Rue Morgue: The Dupin Tales.