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Tony Grist

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The Other Christmas Books [Dec. 2nd, 2018|10:08 am]
Tony Grist
 My project for December- once I've cleared the decks of the things I'm currently reading- is to read Dickens's other Christmas Books. There was an article by Tim Smith-Laing in The Telegraph yesterday making a case for The Chimes as a story that has a lot to say to a divided and "broken" Britain-  but I don't think anyone has ever shown much enthusiasm for the other three. I read the Chimes and The Cricket on the Hearth as a kid and didn't understand either of them- then went on to read the first page of The Battle of Life- and its account of the afterlife of a Civil War battlefield and how the corn grew especially tall over the mass graves and people mowed round them, calling them "battle stooks"- has affected me as powerfully as anything Dickens ever wrote. Why didn't I read on? Probably because I was terrified. Something that begins that powerfully can't be a complete failure, can it? 

Well, we'll see. The Haunted Man and The Ghost's Bargain is a title that promises well....

And if I get through all four I reckon I'll finish off by re-reading A Christmas Carol....

From: ambezi
2018-12-02 02:04 pm (UTC)
Beyond the "Classics" very few people will know how huge Dicken's body of work is. The list in Wiki is eye-opening.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2018-12-02 04:24 pm (UTC)
And it's not just the quantity, it's the quality of the work.
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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2018-12-02 05:06 pm (UTC)
I went to the Wikipedia entry on Dickens bibliography and note that he has 21 Christmas stories in addition to the novels.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2018-12-02 05:38 pm (UTC)
Most of them short stories. In later years he was in the habit of producing Xmas anthologies with contributions by various writers- including himself. His most famous short supernatural story- The Signalman- originally appeared in the anthology called Mugby Junction.
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