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Title: Edwin Drood : a critical and textual study
Author: Cardwell, Margaret
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 1969
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The thesis sets out to examine first the circumstances of the composition of The Mystery of Edwin Drood and any experiences which might have influenced Dickens's thoughts while writing the novel. The interest aroused by the unfinished state of the novel is also considered. In order to assess Dickens's literary position at the time, critical attitudes to novel writing in the 1860s, and in particular criticisms of Dickens's work in the last decade of his life, are illustrated, mainly through articles in the Spectator, and the popular vogue for sensation novels is briefly touched on, as having interest with regard to Dickens's choice of a mystery plot for Edwin Drood. Arising from this, the particular demands of mystery novels and some of the ways in which Dickens meets these demands are examined. The central character in Edwin Drood, John Jasper, is then compared with similar characters in Dickens's previous work. Both the specific qualities of this story and the features which show continuity with Dickens's earlier writing are thus considered. Finally, in this section, subsequent critical approaches to the novel are summarized. Chapter V deals with textual matters: the manuscript is examined and comparisons made between this and the Monthly Parts text, with reference also to proofs, where available, and the first American edition which was published at the same time as the Monthly Numbers. This chapter makes some suggestions as to more accurate readings for an authoritative text and indicates some of the ways in which Dickens corrected and improved his work from manuscript to publication.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: English Literature