Who Murdered Edwin Drood?
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Who Murdered Edwin Drood? book
This chapter briefly investigates the question of physiognomic portraiture in the novels of Charles Dickens. It provides investigation whether the mystery can be solved by physiognomic means, applying the methods of Lombroso's criminal anthropology for detection and identification of criminals. The chapter discusses the results of that physiognomic approach to the Edwin Drood case in the light of the general topic of this study, the close relationship between literary physiognomics and literary realism. Charles Dickens's last novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, was only half-finished at the time of the author's death in June 1870: three installments had already appeared, three more were finished and on their way to the typesetter. Dickens's novels feature characters of both the comic and the tragic type. A vast number of "bad" characters instantly comes to mind—both in the literal sense of phaulos, as "bad" or "inferior," and in the figurative sense of grotesquely exaggerated characters.