Monday, February 25, 2013

Let’s Discuss On The Mystery of Edwin Drood!

When a mystery tale failed to reveal its mystery, it will open an unlimited room for discussion. The Mystery of Edwin Drood qualifies this. I have just finished it yesterday for Celebrating Dickens, and now have a lot of unanswered questions, and have been playing ‘detective’ to try to answer it. I think it would be fun too to hear other’s theories and ideas on it too. So, if you have read this last and unfinished novel of Dickens, let’s have a discussion on The Mystery of Edwin Drood through this post. For you who haven’t read it, you better skip this post, as it will give you many spoilers! You can still join us later when you have read the book though...

The rules:

  • Everyone is invited here, whether or not you are participating in Celebrating Dickens.
  • We will have the discussion via comment box.
  • I will start one or two topics, then you can post your own idea, response or theory upon it by replying the comment.
  • If you want to discuss something apart from my topic, you can start it by posting a new comment.
  • It will be better if you give title to your comments to help others get to the subject easier.
  • To follow the discussions, you can “subscribe by mail” all comments in this post (just click the link below the comment box).
  • There have been a lot of theories on this from Dickens’ critics, but I invite you to have your own imagery of the story.

So….let’s imagine and discuss!


  1. Did Jasper kill Edwin Drood purposely or unconsciously under opium effect—as was supposed by some critics?

    I think he had planned to kill Drood, that’s why he fainted after Mr. Grewgious revealed that Drood and Rosa had decided to cancel the marriage. I think Jasper was in horror realizing that the murder had been useless; his intense love to Rosa made him do that, and the opium helped him to ignore his conscience.

  2. Where was Drood’s body (supposedly) hidden?

    Supposing that Jasper HAD murdered Edwin Drood, where do you think he possibly hid the body? I was intrigued by Jasper’s and Durdles’ night adventure to the crypt. When Durdles was unconscious, I think it’s possible that Jasper has stolen his keys. What if he had an idea to hide the body somewhere in the crypt? With this idea, I followed the chronology of their adventure—I drew a diagram of it. Since they left the cathedral from different exit, would it be possible that Jasper used the keys to unlock the entry gate to the crypt—previously locked by Durdles right after they entered, so that later he could sneak in and hid the body?

    1. This is an interesting question. The scene about Jasper and Durdles's night adventure looked really suspicious to me. It seemed that Jasper made Durdles unconscious with his drink, so Jasper could wander around the place, look for perfect place to hide the body, and steal Durdles's keys. But then, would Durdles find out later when he did his routine tour? Hmm...

    2. I've been asking myself the same question too. Do you think it got to do with Mrs. Sapsea's inscription project? I don't know.... But the way Dickens spoke a lot about Mrs. Sapsea's monument must mean something. And Jasper was really angry when he thought Deputy spied on their adventure to the crypt, remember?

    3. Ow.. I didn't realize it at first, probably the inscription means something more than just a melancholy detail =D And yes, the Deputy..he probably knows more than we thought.. and I was also wondering what's the role of Mr. Datchery?

  3. So following Fanda's suggestion, I'll open a new thread based on my last reply =D Mr. Datchery, the mysterious newcomer at the end of the book.. Who is he? Why did he seem so interested on Jasper? Is he a good guy or someone who had anything to do with the missing case of Edwin Drood? I'm clueless!

    1. Ha! Have you read G.K. Chesterton's introduction at the beginning? It is very interesting, he mentioned his suspicion about Mr. Datchery. Some speculate that Mr. Datchery is Edwin Drood in disguise, that the real mystery of ED is that he survived from Jasper's attack but didn't know who has done it, so he came back to Cloisterham--in disguise--to investigate who wanted to kill him!


What do you think?