Slaithwaite writer takes on Dickens’ Drood challenge
IT was a mystery that had stood the test of time.
And now a Slaithwaite woman has taken on the challenge of trying to solve the puzzle of Edwin Drood.
The story was part-written by Charles Dickens but he died in 1870 before he was able to finish The Mystery of Edwin Drood.
So step forward writer Gwyneth Hughes, who finished the story and turned it into a two-part adaptation screened by the BBC this week.
Drood was described as a strange, disturbing and modern tale about drugs, stalking and darkness.
Hughes turned The Mystery of Edwin Drood into a two-part psychological thriller about a provincial choirmaster’s obsession with 17-year-old Rosa Bud and the lengths he will go to to attain her.
Only Dickens knew how the story was meant to end and his death in June 1870 put paid to any hopes of readers ever knowing for certain what its outcome was supposed to be.
Ms Hughes said the project was “a mammoth task,” adding: “It nearly killed me on occasions.”
Ms Hughes, from Slaithwaite, said she did not realise the enormity of what she had taken on when her plan to finish The Mystery of Edwin Drood was first given the go-ahead by the BBC.
“At the time, I was terribly excited about this marvellous new job,” she said.
“But, as I got into it, I just began to realise the Himalayan scale of the task ahead of me. It was very daunting.
“The more I worked on it, the more of a fan I became.
“This is half of a book by our greatest novelist.”
Ms Hughes is not the first person to try to satisfactorily conclude this 152-year-old tale of drug addiction and sexual obsession.