Le Grand Testament, Francois Villon: I love Villon but the actual physical business of reading him is a bit like doing homework because I have to keep dodging between his original text and an English crib. Villon hangs out in his attic room, chunnering to himself- and occasionally breaks into song. This is what the 15th century felt like if you were in it. Also it contains the loveliest lyric in
The Chimes, Charles Dickens: Trotty Veck, bird-like, 60 year old messenger boy, has encounters on New Years Eve with some ghastly rich people, some noble and harassed poor people and finally with the terrifying Spirits of the Bells. Dickens attempts to top the success of A Christmas Carol by turning the volume up to 11.