Selena requested a quote from The Mystery of Edwin Drood.
“A brilliant morning shines on the old city. Its antiquities and ruins are surpassingly beautiful, with a lusty ivy gleaming in the sun, and the rich trees waving in the balmy air. Changes of glorious light from moving boughs, songs of birds, scents from gardens, woods, and fields -- or, rather, from the one great garden of the whole cultivated island in its yielding time -- penetrate into the Cathedral, subdue its earthy odour, and preach the Resurrection and the Life. The cold stone tombs of centuries ago grow warm; and flecks of brightness dart into the sternest marble corners of the building, fluttering there like wings.”
Congratulations to the Dickens Society of Baltimore for becoming an official branch of the Dickens Fellowship! (H/T The Buzfuz) This makes it the branch of the Fellowship closest to me. I may have to look into joining up with them!
Speaking of the Fellowship, I'm getting ready to go to their annual conference, starting next week in Chicago, where I will get to meet up with Dickensblog reader and frequent guest blogger Rachel McMillan! (Charles Dickens: bringing people together since 1836.) As I did the last time I was away, I plan to set up some quotes from various Dickens novels to run on the blog while I'm gone. I already have some requests left over from last time that I can use (Nicholas Nickleby, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, A Christmas Carol, Little Dorrit, and HardTimes)but if you have any more novels that you'd like me to quote from, please let me know in the comments section on this post. Thanks!
And I'm sure Rachel and I will both have lots to share when we get back!
The New Republic has a gallery of London sketches by Blanchard Jerrold and Gustave Dore, done at the same time that Dickens was working on The Mystery of Edwin Drood. "These images," writes TNR reporter Hillary Kelly, "though criticized at their publication as exaggerated, get close to representing the darkness and sadness that Dickens too wanted to capture."
The new Edwin Drood monthly readalong is underway, over at Cloisterham Tales. Hereare the first two posts. (Please take note of the NO SPOILERS rule -- I broke it once with the Tale of Two Cities readalong, and earned myself a reprimand. I don't want that to happen to the rest of you!)
And there's more: There's another new readalong, of Our Mutual Friend, going on over here! This is not an April Fool -- we've got two monthly Dickens readalongs going on at once now!
The new Drood Inquiry group will hold a one-day conference in September, "allowing the opportunity to consider Edwin Drood afresh, not purely as a puzzle to be solved but as a work of literature to be analysed and celebrated in its own right." Cloisterham Tales has more information!
A new site, promising "an interactive investigation of The Mystery of Edwin Drood," will be launching in April. The Dickensian reports:
"The Drood Inquiry, led by Chief Investigator Pete Orford, will begin in April 2014 when, month by month, digital scans of the original monthly numbers will be released on the site for visitors to follow the case and comment on events as they develop, leading to the opening of the full site in September with newly-commissioned character illustrations and summaries, a full discussion and explanation of all the key questions asked and solutions offered to date, and finally the long overdue opportunity for the public themselves to vote on how they think the Inimitable's unfinished story would truly have ended."
While the site is being prepared, you can visit sister site Cloisterham Tales for a "behind the scenes" look. I've only had time to skim it, but already I've seen a comparison of John Jasper with Wolverine from X-Men, so you know this is going to be interesting!