|from Dickens and Showbiz site|
As one of two reads for Wilkie in Winter, I was looking forward to this one because I hadn't read it but I had learned some of the background about it through various sources. The Frozen Deep was first written as a play in 1856 and then released as a novella in 1874. Charles Dickens had a hand in it as well, both by coming up with the original idea and also by editing it later. I was tempted to read the play version but decided on the novella instead. It still read somewhat like a play, quite simple with mostly dialogue and only a few bits of scene-setting.
I thought it worked fairly well as a novella but I have to admit that I now have a greater desire to see it performed as a play. It is a very emotional and intense story and I think that would come through much more if it was well-acted. I enjoyed the themes of love, clairvoyance and self-sacrifice and thought there was just enough of a twist to keep it interesting. I would also love to see the period polar exploration costumes. Perhaps there will be a revival of the play for the bicentennial?
Enduring the chill,