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The Mystery of Edwin Drood (English Edition)
 
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The Mystery of Edwin Drood (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

Charles Dickens
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Descriptions du produit

Extrait

Chapter One


The Dawn

An ancient English Cathedral Town? How can the ancient English Cathedral town be here! The well-known massive grey square tower of its old Cathedral? How can that be here! There is no spike of rusty iron in the air, between the eye and it, from any point of the real prospect. What IS the spike that intervenes, and who has set it up? Maybe, it is set up by the Sultan’s orders for the impaling of a horde of Turkish robbers, one by one. It is so, for cymbals clash, and the Sultan goes by to his palace in long procession. Ten thousand scimitars flash in the sunlight, and thrice ten thousand dancing- girls strew flowers. Then, follow white elephants caparisoned in countless gorgeous colors, and infinite in number and attendants. Still, the Cathedral Tower rises in the background, where it cannot be, and still no writhing figure is on the grim spike. Stay! Is the spike so low a thing as the rusty spike on the top of a post of an old bedstead that has tumbled all awry? Some vague period of drowsy laughter must be devoted to the consideration of this possibility.

Shaking from head to foot, the man whose scattered consciousness has thus fantastically pieced itself together, at length rises, supports his trembling frame upon his arms, and looks around. He is in the meanest and closest of small rooms. Through the ragged window- curtain, the light of early day steals in from a miserable court. He lies, dressed, across a large unseemly bed, upon a bedstead that has indeed given way under the weight upon it. Lying, also dressed and also across the bed, not longwise, are a Chinaman, a Lascar, and a haggard woman. The two first are in a sleep or stupor; the last is blowing at a kind of pipe, to kindle it. And as she blows, and shading it with her lean hand, concentrates its red spark of light, it serves in the dim morning as a lamp to show him what he sees of her.

“Another?” says this woman, in a querulous, rattling whisper. “Have another?”

He looks about him, with his hand to his forehead.

“Ye’ve smoked as many as five since ye come in at midnight,” the woman goes on, as she chronically complains. “Poor me, poor me, my head is so bad! Them two come in after ye. Ah, poor me, the business is slack, is slack! Few Chinamen about the Docks, and fewer Lascars, and no ships coming in, these say! Here’s another ready for ye, dreary. Ye’ll remember like a good soul, won’t ye, that the market price is

dreffle high just now? More than three shillings and sixpence for a thimbleful! And ye’ll remember that nobody but me (and Jack Chinaman t’other side the court; but he can’t do it as well as me) has the true secret of mixing it? Ye’ll pay up according, dreary, won’t ye?”

She blows at the pipe as she speaks, and, occasionally bubbling at it, inhales much of its contents.

“O me, O me, my lungs is weak, my lungs is bad! It’s nearly ready for ye, dreary. Ah poor me, poor me, my poor hand shakes like to drop off! I see ye coming-to, and I ses to my poor self, ‘I’ll have another ready for him, and he’ll bear in mind the market price of opium, and pay according.’ O my poor head! I makes my pipes of old penny ink-bottles, ye see, dreary—this is one—and I fits in a mouthpiece, this way, and I takes my mixter out of this thimble with this little horn spoon; and so I fills, deary. Ah, my poor nerves! I got Heavens-hard drunk for sixteen year afore I took to this; but this don’t hurt me, not to speak of. And it takes away the hunger as well as wittles, deary.”

She hands him the nearly-emptied pipe, and sinks back, turning over on her face.

He rises unsteadily from the bed, lays the pipe upon the hearthstone, draws back the ragged curtain, and looks with repugnance at his three companions. He notices that the woman has opium-smoked herself into a strange likeness of the Chinaman. His form of cheek, eye, and temple, and his color, are repeated in her. Said Chinaman convulsively wrestles with one of his many Gods, or Devils, perhaps, and snarls horribly. The Lascar laughs and dribbles at the mouth. The hostess is still.

“What visions can she have?” the waking man muses, as he turns her face towards him, and stands looking down at it. “Visions of many butchers’ shops, and public-houses, and much credit? Of an increase of hideous customers, and this horrible bedstead set upright again, and this horrible court swept clean? What can she rise to, under any quantity of opium, higher than that!—Eh?”

He bends down his ear, to listen to her mutterings.

“Unintelligible!”

As he watches the spasmodic shoots and darts that break out of her face and limbs, like fitful lightning out of a dark sky, some contagion in them seizes upon him: insomuch that he has to withdraw himself to a lean arm-chair by the hearth—placed there, perhaps, for such emergencies—and to sit in it, holding tight, until he has got the better of this unclean spirit of imitation.

Then he comes back, pounces on the Chinaman, and, seizing him with both hands by the throat, turns him violently on the bed. The Chinaman clutches the aggressive hands, resists, gasps, and protests.

“What do you say?”

A watchful pause.

“Unintelligible!”

Slowly loosening his grasp as he listens to the incoherent jargon with an attentive frown, he turns to the Lascar and fairly drags him forth upon the floor. As he falls, the Lascar starts into a half- risen attitude, glares with his eyes, lashes about him fiercely with his arms, and draws a phantom knife. It then becomes apparent that the woman has taken possession of his knife, for safety’s sake; for, she too starting up, and restraining and expostulating with him, the knife is visible in her dress, not in his, when they drowsily drop back, side by side.

There has been chattering and clattering enough between them, but to no purpose. When any distinct word has been flung into the air, it has had no sense or sequence. Wherefore “unintelligible!” is again the comment of the watcher, made with some reassured nodding of his head, and a gloomy smile. He then lays certain silver money on the table, finds his hat, gropes his way down the broken stairs, gives a good morning to some rat-ridden doorkeeper, in bed in a black hutch beneath the stairs, and passes out.

That same afternoon, the massive grey square tower of an old Cathedral rises before the sight of a jaded traveller. The bells are going for daily vesper service, and he must needs attend it, one would say, from his haste to reach the open cathedral door. The choir are getting on their sullied white robes, in a hurry, when he arrives among them, gets on his own robe, and falls into the procession filing in to service. Then, the Sacristan locks the iron-barred gates that divide the sanctuary from the chancel, and all of the procession having scuttled into their places, hide their faces; and then the intoned words, “When the Wicked Man—” rise among groins of arches and beams of roof, awakening muttered thunder.

Chapter Two


A Dean, and a Chapter Also


Whosoever has observed that sedate and clerical bird, the rook, may perhaps have noticed that when he wings his way homeward towards nightfall, in a sedate and clerical company, two rooks will suddenly detach themselves from the rest, will retrace their flight for some distance, and will there poise and linger; conveying to mere men the fancy that it is of some occult importance to the body politic, that this artful couple should pretend to have renounced connection with it.

Similarly, service being over in the old cathedral with the square tower, and the choir scuffling out again, and divers venerable persons of rook-like aspect dispersing, two of these latter retrace their steps, and walk together in the echoing Close.

Not only is the day waning, but the year. The low sun is fiery and yet cold behind the monastery ruin, and the Virginia creeper on the cathedral wall has showered half its deep-red leaves down on the pavement. There has been rain this afternoon, and a wintry shudder goes among the little pools on the cracked uneven flagstones, and through the giant elm trees as they shed a gust of tears. Their fallen leaves lie strewn thickly about. Some of these leaves, in a timid rush, seek sanctuary within the low arched cathedral door; but two men coming out, resist them, and cast them forth again with their feet; this done, one of the two locks the door with a goodly key, and the other flits away with a folio music book.

“Mr. Jasper was that, Tope?”

“Yes, Mr. Dean.”

“He has stayed late.”

“Yes, Mr. Dean. I have stayed for him, your Reverence. He has been took a little poorly.”

“Say ‘taken,’ Tope—to the Dean,” the younger rook interposes in a low tone with this touch of correction, as who should say: “You may offer bad grammar to the laity, or the humbler clergy not to the Dean.”

Mr. Tope, Chief Verger and Showman, and accustomed to be high with excursion parties, declines with a silent loftiness to perceive that any suggestion has been tendered to him.

“And when and how has Mr. Jasper been taken—for, as Mr. Crisparkle has remarked, it is better to say taken—taken—” repeats the Dean; “when and how has Mr. Jasper been Taken—”

“Taken, sir,” Tope deferentially murmurs.

“—Poorly, Tope?”

“Why, sir, Mr. Jasper was that breathed—”

“I wouldn’t say ‘That breathed,’ Tope,” Mr. Crisparkle interposes, with the same touch as before. “Not English—to the Dean.”

“Breathed to that extent,” the...

From AudioFile

[Editor's Note--The following is a combined review with DAVID COPPERFIELD, GHOST STORIES, GREAT EXPECTATIONS, HARD TIMES, MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT, NICHOLAS NICKLEBY, OLIVER TWIST, OUR MUTUAL FRIEND, THE PICKWICK PAPERS, and A TALE OF TWO CITIES.]--New Millennium presents the distinguished Academy Award winner Paul Scofield interpreting abridgments of the novels and stories of Charles Dickens. These are excellent readings, sonorous and compelling. However, they lack the verve and character of the old Victorian qualities that have been so wonderfully captured on cassette by Martin Jarvis and Miriam Margolyes, among others. And while few authors benefit more from pruning than the paid-by-the-word Dickens, some of these cuttings are far too drastic. In addition, hurried post-production is evident in numerous audible edits, frequent mouth noises, and occasional overlapping of announcer and narrator. Y.R. © AudioFile 2002, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 365 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 320 pages
  • Utilisation simultanée de l'appareil : Illimité
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  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B0082Z1VTE
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0 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Intéressant 21 mars 2012
Par C. Bosch
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Ce dernier ouvrage de Dickens n'atteint pas à mon avis le niveau de "Great Expectations" ou même "A Tale of Two Cities" , "Oliver Twist". Je suis un peu déçue par les personnages qui sont ou trop caricaturaux ou pas assez définis . Mais c'est bien dickensien tout de même. A découvrir .
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Amazon.com: 3.7 étoiles sur 5  93 commentaires
53 internautes sur 54 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The Game Is Afoot, But We'll Never Know the Outcome 28 décembre 2000
Par James Paris - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Poche
It is so strange to see a long, well-plotted novel suddenly come to a dead stop. (Of a projected twelve episodes, Dickens wrote six before his death.) The title character is either murdered or missing, and a large cast of characters in London and Cloisterham (Dickens's Rochester) are involved in their own way in discovering what happened to Edwin Drood.
There is first of all John Jasper, an opium addict who suspiciously loves Drood's ex-fiancee; there is a nameless old woman who dealt him the opium who is trying to nail Jasper; there is a suspicious pile of quicklime Jasper notices during a late night stroll through the cathedral precincts; there is Durdles who knows all the secrets of the Cathedral of Cloisterham's underground burial chambers; there is the "deputy," a boy in the pay of several characters who has seen all the comings and goings; there are the Anglo-Indian Landless twins, one of whom developed a suspicious loathing for Drood; there is the lovely Rosebud, unwilling target of every man's affections; and we haven't even begun talking about Canon Crisparkle, Datchery, Tartar, and a host of other characters. All we know is that the game is afoot, but we'll never know the outcome.
It would have been nice to know how Dickens tied together all these threads, but we can still enjoy THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD because -- wherever Dickens was heading with it -- it is very evidently the equal of his best works. Life is fleeting, and not all masterpieces are finished.
28 internautes sur 29 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Drood Is So Good 17 mai 2002
Par IRA Ross - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
It is a tribute to Charles Dickens' reputation that to this day this unfinished novel, a mystery no less, still garners such speculation as to who allegedly murdered Edwin Drood. There are organizations created for the sole purpose of analyzing the novel and to theorizing whom the culprit may have been, if indeed there really was a culprit. After all, only Drood's watch and his shirt pin are produced, not his body.
As in all of Dickens' novels, the characterizations are the thing. You have the innocent young woman with the somewhat eccentric guardian and his Bob Cratchitlike assistant. There is the dark, possibly unfairly accused, but hot headed antagonist of Drood. Then there is Drood's brooding choirmaster uncle, John Jasper, who frequents opium dens, and who may or may not have ulterior motives in his seeking revenge. Durdles, the stone mason, and a somewhat weird character, provides some chilling comic relief in cemetery scenes with his stone throwing assistant. There are also the typical Dickensian characters, which includes a snooty older woman, a class conscious, spinsterish school mistress, and in a hilarious restaurant scene, an unappreciated, hard working "flying waiter" and a lazy, wise acre "stationary waiter."
It is a shame that Dickens died before he could complete "Edwin Drood." What is here are the beginnings of an exploration of man's dual nature, a journey into "the heart of darkness" so to speak.
14 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 "I have been taking opium for a pain, an agony that sometimes overcomes me." 9 janvier 2008
Par Mary Whipple - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
Set in Cloisterham, a cathedral town, Dickens's final novel, unfinished, introduces two elements unusual for Dickens--opium-eating and the church. In the opening scene, John Jasper, music teacher and soloist in the cathedral choir, awakens from an opium trance in a flat with two other semi-conscious men and their supplier, an old woman named Puffer, and then hurries off to daily vespers.

Jasper, aged twenty-six, is the uncle and guardian of Edwin Drood, only a few years younger. Drood has been the fiancé of Rosa Bud for most of his life, an arrangement made by his and Rosa's deceased fathers to honor their friendship, and the wedding is expected within the year. Jasper, Rosa's music teacher, is secretly in love with her, though she finds him repellent.

When two orphans, Helena and Neville Landless, arrive in Cloisterham, Helena and Rosa become friends, and Neville finds himself strongly attracted to the lovely Rosa. Ultimately, the hot-tempered Neville and Drood have a terrible argument in which Neville threatens Drood before leaving town on a walking trip. Drood vanishes the same day. Apprehended on his trip, Neville is questioned about Drood's disappearance, and Jasper accuses him of murder.

Tightly organized to this point, the novel shows Jasper himself to be a prime suspect, someone who could have engineered the evidence against Neville, but Dickens unexpectedly introduces some new characters at this point--the mysterious Dick Datchery and Tartar, an old friend of Rev. Mr. Crisparkle, minor canon at the cathedral. Puffer, the opium woman, is reintroduced and appears set to play a greater role, since she solicits information from the semi-conscious Jasper and secretly follows him. This is the halfway point in the projected novel, and Dickens clearly planned to develop these new (or reintroduced) characters to deepen the mystery.

More modern in many ways than his previous novels, the characters here are not simple stereotypes--some are good people who have real flaws and make mistakes. Dickens's tying of Jasper to the church choir, where he was a soloist, suggests some examination of the theme of hypocrisy, in which the good Mr. Crisparkle would be Jasper's antithesis. The opium scenes, vividly drawn, carry the unusual suggestion that opium leads to a kind of intoxication similar to that of alcohol, and Dicken does not use these scenes to offer dire warnings about the drug--at least at this point. Especially intriguing because it is unfinished, this novel continues to fascinate mystery lovers and literary scholars more than a century after its first publication. Mary Whipple

Bleak House (Signet Classics)
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Hard Times
26 internautes sur 30 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Prepare to Be Frustrated! 7 juin 2000
Par Lauryn Angel - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Poche|Achat vérifié
I say this not because the novel is bad -- it's actually quite good -- but because it was left unfinished; Dickens died while writing this novel. I was prepared to be frustrated that I would never know how the mystery was solved, but the novel ends before you really get to know what the mystery is! Edwin Drood disappears and is presumed dead, and Dickens makes it look as if a certain person is guilty of his murder. Of course, Dickens would never have been so obvious, so it has to be a red herring. In addition to the murder, a person who is obviously in disguise just barely appears on the scene before the story abruptly ends, leaving no clue as to who this person may be. The novel is well-written and intriguing, but without an ending, it's a little frustrating!
7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 FOR LOVE OF ROSEBUD 20 mars 2009
Par Gale Finlayson - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
What men will do to woo this pampered heroine! Published as a real mystery Dicken's last novel--the more tantalizing because it remains unfinished--offers readers the case of young Edwin Drood. Vanishing
from the world of men on a stormy Christmas Eve his body was never found (at least not in the 270 pages of the extent novel). Foul play seems evident when his watch and shirt pin are discovered by the weir. Set in the fictitious cathedral town of Cloisterham the story opens in a shabby London opium den; in fact, the opium hag makes odd appearances during the novel--possibly holding the key to the mystery of the "dear boy's fate.

Dickens' scholars concur that the character of the John Jasper is villainous right at the outset--cruelly capable of devious schemes, patient planning for an obsessive goal, and precise execution of his dark intent. Snakelike he can mesmerize his helpless victims with his stare and intense mental powers. John Jasper's external persona is one of musical talent and benign avuncular affection; as the cathedral's soloist and choir master he is respected and praised. Very few people realize that he possesses a dark side which runs viciously deep.

Most of the novel is set is Cloisterham, but six months after Edwin's scandalous disappearance many of the characters travel to London for various purposes. It is amazing that so many men fall for the charms of a young, spoiled girl-woman who lives at Nun's House to complete her education: her fiancé, Edwin, naturally, his brooding uncle, John Jasper, newcomer Neville Landless, bronzed sailor Mr. Tartar and even her middle aged guardian, Mr. Grewgious. These male characters turn their lives upside down to impress/court/protect Rosebud, as she is nicknamed.

No one knows how Dickens planned to resolve the mystery and punish the guilty or reward/exonerate the innocent, though speculation among scholars and mystery writers may prove a delightful and a scholarly occupation. Dickens apparently desired to present an in-depth study of the criminal mind, in all its complexities and moods.
NB: Jasper, not a gemstone though sometimes perceived as such, is
very hard, appears variously as green, red or brown; it also possesses an opaque quality. Despite John Jasper's penchant for evil he occasionally evinces a few streaks of tenderness. Perhaps the author deliberately chose this name for this refined antagonist, to slyly indicate his complex nature.
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