Published: 00:01, 03 September 2018
A new book aims to get people talking about one of literature's greatest enigmas - how would Charles Dickens’ last unfinished novel have ended?
The Mystery of Edwin Drood was the author’s last piece of work before he died in 1870 - and is widely accepted as being based in Rochester.
Author Pete Orford, 36, has compiled people’s ideas and theories of how the novel should have concluded in a new book.
The fictional town in the unfinished story – Cloisterham – is widely recognised as being based on Rochester, including buildings in the town as the homes of some characters.
Oxfordshire resident Pete, who graduated from the University of Kent, said: “The Mystery of Edwin Drood has created an incredible amount of discussion since Dickens’ death left it unfinished.
“However, that discussion has become ever more manic within a small minority.
“Most people either haven’t heard of it, or are put off by the bulk of theories already out there.
“What I wanted to do was find a way to open this topic out to public discussion once again.
“I didn’t want to write a book just for specialists, but a book that welcomed newcomers.
“Rochester played an important role in Dickens’ life both in his youth and in his last years, and his decision to set his final novel in Rochester is testament to that. Today Dickensians take great delight in visiting Rochester and seeing the world of Drood come alive before them.
“They might even find a clue about the fate of Edwin Drood while out and about.”
The 36-year-old added: “Whether you are a life-time Drood fan, or new to the whole controversy, this book will guide you through the tangled web of theories and counter-theories surrounding this enduring literary enigma.”
The legendary writer has always been linked to the city, moving to Medway at the age of five and spedning msot of his childhood in Chatham.
Many of the buildings in his books were based around Rochester.
This includes the famous cathedral, the Six Poor Travellers House and the Restoration House, with some buildings in the High Street carrying plaques as a sign of their recognition.
n People can buy the book themselves online from Amazon for £19.99.