Is Charles Dickens’s last unfinished novel curiously specific about dates and locations? Well… kinda.
We start in Wapping at Princess Puffer’s opium den, and we end up in the Kent countryside at a pub that could be the model for The Tilted Wagon. In between, Lloyd uses his knowledge of trains and timetables to work out the year in which the book is set (kinda).
We take a walk Dickens made many times down the Richard Dadd Path in search of a gruesome murder site. We turn up in Rochester, fortuitously on the day of the somewhat odd Dickens festival and locate all the main buildings of ‘Cloisterham’. We search in vain for the weir where the Reverend Crisparkle enjoys a midwinter skinny-dip.
Conversations include a debate about the merits of David Bowie’s ‘Earthling’, the hell that would be a weekend stay with Dickens, the difference between being ‘curiously specific’ (us) and ‘locally vague’ (Dickens), and why we should thank our lucky stars that David Lean never directed a ‘Mission Impossible’ movie.