The Mystery Of Edwin Drood Analysis

Topics: Wilkie Collins, Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens Pages: 5 (1225 words) Published: January 16, 2017


The publication of the first instalment of The Mystery of Edwin Drood appeared in Dickens’s weekly “All Year Round” in April 1870. It arosed wide attention from the audience for the author’s latest work “which promised to be one of his most effective and popular books (Morford 5).” At the time Dickens was writing The Mystery of Edwin Drood, the police force established in 1829 did not work exclusively on prevention of crime any more, it focused on detection too; the daily press was abounding in the news about theft, assaults and murders. Crime became a form of entertainment; real cases were made into plays and performed. Wilkie Collins had already published The Moonstone, probably the first detective novel written by an English author. The...

He is the investigator and the investigated, although we cannot be sure that he is aware of that, because his opium addition altered his perception of reality. Detective fiction generally involves a figure of a sleuth which is not the case in this novel. The character that resembles an investigator the most is Dick Datchery, who seems to be very interested in the events concerning Drood’s disappearance. He goes around town asking questions and observes attentively everything that is happening. Datchery’s identity has been a topic of many discussions and some even believe that represents the key to the solution of the mystery. There is something off about Datchery; his big white hair and black eyebrows, suggest that he is wearing a wig, the fact that he keeps forgetting his hat implies that he is not used to wearing one. All in all, he appears to be in disguise, hiding his real identity. Is he a new character with a personal vengeance or a previously mentioned one trying to solve the mystery of Edwin’s disappearance? What is his agenda? Unfortunately, not enough was written by Dickens for us to be able to figure it out. Andrei Baltakmens in “The Mysterious Finality of Edwin Drood” claims that the process of suggestion is not essential to the novel but the suggestive mystery. Dickens attention was to keep the reader guessing not only who committed the murder, but if the murder even occurred (39). In my opinion, even if Dickens had finished the book this information would have been the last one...
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