Age of Anxiety: Anticulture and Autoethnography in the Mystery of Edwin Drood

Lecture | January 17 | 4-6:30 p.m. | Wheeler Hall, 315, Maude Fife

 James Buzard, Professor, MIT

 Department of English, 19th Century and Beyond British Cultural Studies Working Group, Florence Green Bixby Chair in English

Notwithstanding Dickens’s unprecedented choice of an English cathedral town as the primary setting for his final work, The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1870) gives many indications that it remains committed to the autoethnographic project that the author had most extensively undertaken in Bleak House (1852). This talk examines Drood’s adaptations of the model in the altered conditions of the later 1860s - in the wake of the Indian rebellion, the Governor Eyre controversy, the enfranchisement of black Americans and of segments of the British working class.