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Old 03-20-2019, 09:44 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by Bookworm_Girl View Post
Thanks for the links, Victoria! Dickens did have a very interesting personal history.

Matthew Pearl’s introduction suggests that there are some biographical elements in the book. Pearl suggests that the way Jasper views Edwin with resentment and disappointment could be compared to the way Dickens viewed his sons. He thought they lived extravagantly expensive lives and were unfocused, engaging in exotic colonial pursuits. Dickens also could have been reflecting regrets about his own marriage on to Edwin and Rosa’s anxiety about their engagement. Dickens also had brothers who lived dark lives and could have been inspiration for Jasper’s character. Pearl also states that Dickens relied on medical opiates in his final years, which could have been relevant to Jasper’s opium use. Lastly he alleges that Dickens could have projected his secret affair with Ellen Ternan (older man, young actress) onto Jasper’s pursuit of Rosa Bud.
A great deal of Dan Simmons Drood uses quite a few of these points to move his story along. However, you do see dear friend Wilkie using more of the fruit of the poppy flower than Dickens in that work. I think this is one of those interesting things to look back on though - opium and laudanum were still very much in medical use at near lethal quantities.

Its the same as moralizing about Sherlock Holmes and his very legal cocaine use in those stories.
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Old 03-21-2019, 10:59 AM   #62
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A few more quotes that I highlighted along the way:

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‘O, a joke, sir, a mere joke,’ Edwin cuts in, with a provoking yawn. ‘A little humouring of Pussy’s points! I’m going to paint her gravely, one of these days, if she’s good.’
This would just about make Edwin's murder: justifiable homicide. Yes?


Quote:
‘That is my understanding,’ assented Mr. Grewgious, as they shook hands to part. ‘God bless them both!’
‘God save them both!’ cried Jasper.
‘I said, bless them,’ remarked the former, looking back over his shoulder.
‘I said, save them,’ returned the latter. ‘Is there any difference?’
This just struck me as an odd snippet of conversation. Particularly since the offence, if there is any offence, on Jasper's part is directed at "them both" (Edwin and Rosebud).


In discussing whether Neville would apologise to Edwin, we have:
Quote:
‘You see,’ remarked Mr. Crisparkle, again laying hold of his opportunity, though with a moderate and delicate touch, ‘you both instinctively acknowledge that Neville did wrong. Then why stop short, and not otherwise acknowledge it?’
‘Is there no difference,’ asked Helena, with a little faltering in her manner, ‘between submission to a generous spirit, and submission to a base or trivial one?’
And this struck me as a rather interesting question. Neville was in the wrong (even if not the only one in the wrong) should he not apologise regardless of the quality of the other side? And yet it is easy to see why he should be reluctant to do so (just look again at the quote at the top of this post). Perhaps the real question is: Is apology submission?
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Old 03-21-2019, 01:52 PM   #63
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I never said anything about having come into greater balance.
Such liberties! My apologies

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I've always thought the final years for Dickens seemed rather unfair considering what he had tried to do for others.
Great point; it’s surprising how entitled people feel to judge public figures harshly, with no real knowledge of their private lives and struggles. Fame must be absolutely awful to live with - you just become a possession.

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Originally Posted by Bookworm_Girl View Post
Matthew Pearl’s introduction suggests that there are some biographical elements in the book. Pearl suggests that the way Jasper views Edwin with resentment and disappointment could be compared to the way Dickens viewed his sons. He thought they lived extravagantly expensive lives and were unfocused, engaging in exotic colonial pursuits. Dickens also could have been reflecting regrets about his own marriage on to Edwin and Rosa’s anxiety about their engagement. Dickens also had brothers who lived dark lives and could have been inspiration for Jasper’s character. Pearl also states that Dickens relied on medical opiates in his final years, which could have been relevant to Jasper’s opium use. Lastly he alleges that Dickens could have projected his secret affair with Ellen Ternan (older man, young actress) onto Jasper’s pursuit of Rosa Bud.
Thank you Bookworm_Girl Very interesting, and great food for thought!

Last edited by Victoria; 03-21-2019 at 03:37 PM.
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Old 03-21-2019, 02:21 PM   #64
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I'm in the Edwin survives camp, but also in the camp that says that Dickens was keeping his options open. The point of the ring could well have been to ensure identification of the body dissolved in quicklime; otherwise it's a red herring. And even if Edwin did survive, I think we have to assume that Jasper assumed he killed him; certainly there must have been an interval when Edwin was unconscious and seemingly dead, when Jasper removed the jewelry he knew of, to plant it at the weir.
For a book I didn’t enjoy, I do keep thinking about it; especially issybird’sbelief that Dickens was keeping his options open. I was convinced that Jasper killed Edwin - full stop. But there was one thing that doesn’t seem to fit that scenario.

Why would Jasper haunt Neville’s London hideout for months, if he didn’t think Neville had killed Edwin? I could see a certain amount of that, for appearance’s sake, to cast off suspicion from himself. But even going so far as to hire other people to spy on Neville 24/7? It seems rather extreme. Is there another reason than Dickens keeping the option of an innocent Jasper / guilty Neville open?

Last edited by Victoria; 03-21-2019 at 03:41 PM.
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Old 03-21-2019, 02:26 PM   #65
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A great deal of Dan Simmons Drood uses quite a few of these points to move his story along. However, you do see dear friend Wilkie using more of the fruit of the poppy flower than Dickens in that work. I think this is one of those interesting things to look back on though - opium and laudanum were still very much in medical use at near lethal quantities.

Its the same as moralizing about Sherlock Holmes and his very legal cocaine use in those stories.
With echoes of today’s opioid epidemic, when troubles for many began with legal prescriptions for pain relief.

Last edited by Victoria; 03-21-2019 at 03:39 PM. Reason: Messed up quotes
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Old 03-21-2019, 05:58 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by Victoria View Post
For a book I didn’t enjoy, I do keep thinking about it; especially issybird’sbelief that Dickens was keeping his options open. I was convinced that Jasper killed Edwin - full stop. But there was one thing that doesn’t seem to fit that scenario.

Why would Jasper haunt Neville’s London hideout for months, if he didn’t think Neville had killed Edwin? I could see a certain amount of that, for appearance’s sake, to cast off suspicion from himself. But even going so far as to hire other people to spy on Neville 24/7? It seems rather extreme. Is there another reason than Dickens keeping the option of an innocent Jasper / guilty Neville open?
That's a good point Victoria. I had interpreted it as his wanting to make sure that Neville didn't slip away, but was there as his scapegoat if any other discoveries were made.

One factor that suggests Edwin could have survived was the behaviour of Mr Grewgious when he told John Jasper of the decision of Edwin and Rosa to terminate their engagement. He seemed to be very detached in observing Jasper's extreme reaction to this:

Quote:
Mr Grewgious saw the ghastly figure throw back its head, clutch its hair with its hands, and turn with a writhing action from him.

"I have now said all I have to say: except that this young couple parted, firmly, though not without tears and sorrow, on the evening when you last saw them together."

Mr Grewgious heard a terrible shriek, and saw no ghastly figure, sitting or standing; saw nothing but a heap of torn and miry clothes upon the floor.

Not changing his action even then, he opened and shut the palms of his hands as he warmed them, and looked down at it.
His calm observation of Jasper's horror and faint at learning he had (as he thought at any rate) killed Edwin for no reason, suggests that Grewgious knew that Edwin had survived and was perhaps testing his theory that the attacker was indeed Jasper.
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Old 03-22-2019, 12:30 AM   #67
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[...] His calm observation of Jasper's horror and faint at learning he had (as he thought at any rate) killed Edwin for no reason, suggests that Grewgious knew that Edwin had survived and was perhaps testing his theory that the attacker was indeed Jasper.
Or, Grewgious remains calm because Grewgious is the guilty party. After giving Edwin the ring, he muses:
Quote:
‘Her ring,’ he went on. ‘Will it come back to me? My mind hangs about her ring very uneasily to-night. But that is explainable. I have had it so long, and I have prized it so much! I wonder——’
Thanks - apparently - to Grewgious's attachment to Rosebud's mother, he has quite a thing for that ring: ‘I charge you once more, by the living and by the dead, to bring that ring back to me!’ What would he have done had it seemed like Edwin was going to abscond or otherwise mistreat the ring? (It's just a shame that Mount Doom hadn't been imagined yet. )

Are we told about Rosebud's mother's death just to explain Grewgious's dedication to Rosebud, or does it form part of the puzzle still to be revealed?

Bazzard follows Drood when he leaves Grewgious's office. Is that also related to Rosebud's mother in some way, or something separate?

With a bit of imagination I think I could get most of the cast hanged for murdering Drood.
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Old 03-22-2019, 01:16 AM   #68
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You have been reading too many Agatha Christies, gmw!

Grewgious is the person who will make sure of Jasper’s downfall. He is like Mr Micawber in David Copperfield sorting out Uriah Heep.

Last edited by Bookpossum; 03-22-2019 at 01:20 AM.
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Old 03-22-2019, 02:39 AM   #69
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You have been reading too many Agatha Christies, gmw!

Grewgious is the person who will make sure of Jasper’s downfall. He is like Mr Micawber in David Copperfield sorting out Uriah Heep.
You are quite right, of course. Grewgious is exactly the sort of character Dickens would create for this purpose, just as Rosebud is someone we're all supposed to fawn over (rather than throw up on - whoops, sorry).

But just imagine "what if" Dickens found his way to "the least suspicious character is the guilty one"? He had the talent for it, I'm just not sure if he had the audience to appreciate it and he did pander to his audience.


Edit: Rosebud definitely improves further into the story, though I'm not convinced the improvement is a permanent one.

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Old 03-22-2019, 01:55 PM   #70
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That's a good point Victoria. I had interpreted it as his wanting to make sure that Neville didn't slip away, but was there as his scapegoat if any other discoveries were made.

One factor that suggests Edwin could have survived was the behaviour of Mr Grewgious when he told John Jasper of the decision of Edwin and Rosa to terminate their engagement. He seemed to be very detached in observing Jasper's extreme reaction to this:

His calm observation of Jasper's horror and faint at learning he had (as he thought at any rate) killed Edwin for no reason, suggests that Grewgious knew that Edwin had survived and was perhaps testing his theory that the attacker was indeed Jasper.
Preventing Neville’s escape does make sense. It struck me as being taken to an extreme level, but I’m probably just out of practice reading Dickens and the level of passion / melodrama of that era.

Grewgious’ response did show a lot of disdain towards Jasper - like he was examining an insect. And it was out of character because we know he was a kind man. It could be he had knowledge or at least suspicions about an attack against Edwin. But I wonder - if he thought Jasper was that dangerous, would he have left Rosa at Nun’s House?

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Or, Grewgious remains calm because Grewgious is the guilty party.

With a bit of imagination I think I could get most of the cast hanged for murdering Drood.
gmw I’m pretty sure you could - you’ve already hung most of them.

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You have been reading too many Agatha Christies, gmw!

Grewgious is the person who will make sure of Jasper’s downfall. He is like Mr Micawber in David Copperfield sorting out Uriah Heep.
I’m with Bookpossum on this one.

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Edit: Rosebud definitely improves further into the story, though I'm not convinced the improvement is a permanent one.
Yes, Dickens actually surprised with Rosa, when he has her show more spunk towards the end (which was really just the middle). Maybe her friendship with Helena had a fortifying affect on her.

Last edited by Victoria; 03-22-2019 at 04:24 PM.
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Old Yesterday, 04:25 PM   #71
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With a bit of imagination I think I could get most of the cast hanged for murdering Drood.
Does anyone know what choices the audience gets to vote on in the musical version of Edwin Drood?
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Old Yesterday, 04:40 PM   #72
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It was 1990-ish when I saw it so I only remember the uniqueness of the experience and the atmosphere of the venue. However here is a tally of the choices from a recent Broadway revival. It appears Rosa Bud was the most popular choice of killer!
http://www.playbill.com/article/they...too-com-203296
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Old Yesterday, 05:16 PM   #73
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Thanks for that link Bookworm-Girl. It sounds like a lot of fun for both audience and cast.

I must admit that Rosa was an interesting choice for the killer!
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Old Yesterday, 05:21 PM   #74
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Thanks for that link Bookworm-Girl. It sounds like a lot of fun for both audience and cast.

I must admit that Rosa was an interesting choice for the killer!
I agree. I never seriously considered her a suspect. I wonder if there is something about the way the musical is written/acted that makes the audience choose this path.
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Old Yesterday, 07:47 PM   #75
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I agree. I never seriously considered her a suspect. I wonder if there is something about the way the musical is written/acted that makes the audience choose this path.
Thanks very much for the link. Sounds like a good way to get the most out of the story.

According to the Wikipedia article about the play, they did indeed alter the story to add clues pointing to other characters.

I did like the idea that it could have happened as she "crept up on Edwin Drood, thinking it was the lecherous John Jasper, and murdered the lad in the shadowed streets."
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