Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

The Other Christmas Books

 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....
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