ONLINE CLASS: The Mystery of Edwin Drood and The Nightside of Dickens (21112)

Four Mondays: November 29; and December 6, 13, 20, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. EST

Price: 
$135.00 (10% off for members)

The Mystery of Edwin Drood is “The Kubla Khan” of the Victorian Novel. Dickens’s last work, Drood is also a fragment haloed by opium dreams and double visions. The town of Cloisterham--where John Jasper, the choirmaster, fantasizes about fair Rosa Bud, a delicate girl betrothed to his nephew Edwin--overlays the site of Dickens’s final home at Gad’s Hill in Rochester, the ancient city which served as the setting of his first and most exuberant novel, The Pickwick Papers. Although The Mystery of Edwin Drood opens groggily with “The Dawn”, the sun hardly comes up on the drug dens of London's Shadwell and the tangled Cathedral gardens before the novel breaks off, in the dusk of Dickens’s own death. An unusual cast of church characters, innocents, sinners, singers, sailors, solicitors, orphans, adventurers,  and detectives in disguise, march to the midway point of this unfinished serial, composing a curious mixture of English snuggery, Gothic tower, and Eastern legend, with the magic carpets of Turkey, the tales of the Arabian nights, Egyptian cults, and Chinese poppies thrown in for good measure.

Dickens wrote Drood with the daily throb of a swollen foot signaling the failure of his heart; meanwhile, his head remained awash with the vivid language of poetry, as he laid a plot as labyrinthine as The Moonstone. No stranger to his doctor’s laudanum in the last months of his life, Dickens’s imagination for the phantasmagoric, his mentality for murder, and his yen for enigma grew in this painful passage, leading the great author to touch pinnacles and crawl to depths he had never reached before.

A true reliquary of everything Dickensian, The Mystery of Edwin Drood will be handled with cotton gloves as we pore over the text with scholarly care and a magnifying glass. In our final class, as we close the book on the Inimitable, we will entertain the theories which have spun a century and a half of whodunits and impossible endings from all corners of the literary and theatrical world.

Instructor will send syllabus in advance of first session and supplementary reading material every week to enhance class discussion.

Four Mondays: Novembe 29; and December 6, 13, 20, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. EST

Book Required:

The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens, Penguin Classics, ed. David Paroissien (9780140439267)

Instructor will send syllabus in advance of first session and supplementary reading material every week to enhance class discussion.

Nicole Miller's prize-winning essays have appeared recently in New Letters and Arts & Letters magazines. Her fiction has been published twice in The Mays, edited by Jill Paton Walsh and Sebastian Faulks. She received an M.Phil. in Victorian Literature from Lincoln College, Oxford; a PhD in English at University College, London; and an MFA at Emerson College, Boston, where she held the Graduate Fellowship in Creative Writing. At The Oxford English Dictionary, she has served as a scholarly reader for British Dialects since 2002. She edits faculty manuscripts in Harvard’s English Department and teaches nineteenth and twentieth century British literature at Politics and Prose in Washington D.C.

REFUND POLICY: Please note that we can issue class refunds up until seven (7) days before the first class session.

$135.00
SKU: 9787000009547
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The Mystery of Edwin Drood Cover Image
By Charles Dickens, David Paroissien (Introduction by), David Paroissien (Notes by)
$12.00
ISBN: 9780140439267
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Penguin Classics - May 28th, 2002