Except for A Tale of Two Cities, I’ll admit to never being much of a Dickens fan. Never went in big for the TV soap operas, & Dickens has always seemed to be just a pre-TV soaps writer. But I figure I’m definitely in the minority. And none of my high school English teachers or English teachers at university ever agreed with me that he was the Agnes Nixon of the Victorian Age. Or they agree with me but feel he’s extremely significant. Or that that genre is extremely significant. I dunno…………..a hundred years from now, will ‘All My Children’ be thought of as a classic? Maybe.
However, I do love The Mystery of Edwin Drood, his very last novel. He died before finishing it. Maybe that’s why I like it. Although Dickens did leave his plot ideas in letters, we’ll never know what his final decisions would have been. Like one of those TV shows that begins with a bang, has gone into the sewer by mid-season, & the show is ungracefully dumped, with no mysteries solved, no loose ends tied up. Things are left to the discretion of the reader / viewer. I may actually be one of the only people on earth who likes that………….an opportunity to tie up someone else’s loose ends in my imagination.
The only place in fiction that I’ve ever read a reference to Virginia creeper was in The Mystery of Edwin Drood. I was hiking on down the road the other day & came across large colonies of creeper going through their fall color change with huge batches of poison ivy standing guard on the ground level.
“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 flag-stones, and through the giant elm-trees as they shed a gust of tears.”
~~ Charles Dickens, The Mystery of Edwin Drood