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The Mystery of Edwin Drood
The Mystery of Edwin Drood is the final novel by Charles Dickens. The novel was left unfinished at the time of Dickens' death, and readers have often speculated what the ending might have been. The novel is named after Edwin Drood, but it mostly tells the story of his uncle, a Jekyll-and-Hyde-esque choirmaster named John Jasper, who is in love with his pupil, Rosa Bud. Miss Bud is Drood's fiance, and has caught the eye of the high spirited and hot tempered Neville Landless, who comes from Ceylon with his twin sister, Helena, and immediately makes an enemy of Drood. In the musical version (see below) all of these, along with the Reverend Crisparkle, whom the Landless twins live with, a mysterious opium dealer called only the Princess Puffer, and Rosa's guardian's servant, Mister Bazzard, are all considered possible suspects.
A musical comedy adaptation by Rupert Holmes (later renamed Drood) was first produced by the New York Shakespeare Festival . It opened on Broadway in 1985 and has since played successfully in regional productions. The audience votes which of the characters is the murderer: brief alternate endings are provided for each potential killer, even the most unlikely. Betty Buckley, Cleo Laine, George Rose, Donna Murphy , Judy Kuhn, and Howard McGillin were in the cast.
The Mystery of Edwin Drood was scheduled to be published in twelve installments (shorter than Dickens' usual twenty) from April 1870 to March 1871, each costing one shilling and illustrated by S.L. Fildes . Only six were completed by Dickens' 1870 death. Some claim that the novel was one-third complete, but actually, it is exactly half finished.
- I - April 1870 (chapters 1-4);
- II - May 1870 (chapters 5-9);
- III - June 1870 (chapters 10-12);
- IV - July 1870 (chapters 13-16);
- V - August 1870 (chapters 17-20);
- VI - September 1870 (chapters 21-23);
- VII - October 1870 (planned);
- VIII - November 1870 (planned);
- IX - December 1870 (planned);
- X - January 1871 (planned);
- XI - February 1871 (planned);
- XII - March 1871 (planned).
- In 2005, Charles Dickens became, for one episode, a character in the science fiction series Doctor Who. In the episode "The Unquiet Dead", Dickens encounters the Doctor and helps the time-traveller fight off a ghostly alien invasion around the time of Christmas 1869. The episode ends with Dickens declaring his intention to incorporate his adventure with the Doctor into his work-in-progress, The Mystery of Edwin Drood. The Doctor, upon departing 1869, sadly notes that Dickens would never get to finish his tale.
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