FIRST EDITION OF CHARLES DICKENS FINAL NOVEL THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD
The Mystery of Edwin Drood.
Item Number: 91840
London: Chapman and Hall, 1870.
First edition of Dickens’ final novel. Octavo, bound in full early 20th century morocco, gilt titles and tooling to the spine, double gilt ruled, raised gilt bands, all edges gilt, inner dentelles, marbled endpapers. Engraved frontispiece portrait of Dickens with tissue guard, 12 engraved plates. In near fine condition with very light rubbing and some toning to the pages.
Charles Dickens’ novels regularly revolved around masks, dual identities and other secrets. The Mystery of Edwin Drood, however, “enlarged and strengthened [such matters] in the pursuit of a larger vision, a vision which depicts the ‘lanes of light’ between the dark pillars of a crypt and which reflects upon ‘that mysterious fire which lurks in everything” (Ackroyd, 1056). Unfortunately, at the time of his death on June 9, 1870, Dickens had written only six parts of the book, three of which had been published. The remaining three were published posthumously. Dickens had so closely guarded the plot’s outlines, even from his closest friends, that to this day the identity of Drood’s killer remains a topic for speculation, discussion and debate. “There are few of [Dickens’] stories which are superior in the matter of composition… one of the best unfinished mystery stories in literature” (Eckel, 96). This tantalizing tale has been adapted in film and television several times.