Reading Drood

A shared anniversary reading of Charles Dickens’ final unfinished novel

Charles Dickens died on 9 June 1870, halfway through The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Like all his big novels, this one came out as a serial. Three parts had been published: three were to come. Six were never written.

The story is set mainly in a lightly disguised Rochester. At the Guildhall Museum and in Medway Libraries we thought it would be fun to host a shared reading of the six parts as they had originally been published 150 years ago, supported by this blog and a programme of live events.

COVID-19 has forced something of a change of plan. We may reconfigure some of our live events for the autumn. In the meantime, reading can still go ahead. We’d be really interested to know how you get on.

You can begin anytime: you can read the novel in any way you choose. This blog is built around the idea of reading in instalments, but there is plenty of other information here too. Reading the Parts will show you how to separate the text into its six original sections, if you fancy trying the full Victorian experience!

To borrow an eBook copy of The Mystery of Edwin Drood, download it from Medway Libraries here:

If you are not already a member of Medway Libraries, details of how to join online are available here:

Explore this blog using the links below:
  • try some background reading
  • find out about how the novel came to be written
  • join in

The final five years

What was Dickens like?

Writing the novel

How did it all begin?

Reading the parts

What do you think?
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