Monday, December 26, 2005

More than a Christmas Carol

Not me, that would be Charles Dickens. I never knew that he had written more than one Chrismas tale. Obviously, they're less popular, but I wonder if they're any good.

Found while paging through my old copy of "The Creators, A history of heroes of the imagination, by Daniel J. Boorstin:
Whenever Dickens discovered a public enthusiasm, he responded. His first long Christmas story, A Christmas Carol<1843), proved a spectacular success, selling six thousand copies on the day of publication. Even the jaundiced Lord Jeffrey (1773-1850) congratulated him for having "done more good by this little publication, fostered more kind feelngs, and prompted more positive acts of beneficience, than can be traced to all the pulpits and confesionals in Christendom since Christmas 1842." Thackeray proclaimed it "a national benefit, and to every man or woman who reads it a presonal kindness." Naturally, Dickens decided to make it the first of an annual Christmas serial. He followed it with The Chimes, The Cricket on the Hearth, The Battle of Life, and The Haunted Man - - all profitable, but none quite up to the first number. Few of Dickens's other writings had involved him so personally as A Christmas Carol . He had "wept and laughed, and wept again, and excited himself in a most extraordinary manner in the composition; and thinking whereof he walked about the black streets of London fifteen and twenty miles many a night when all other folks had gone to bed."


These other stories are not easy to come by. Searching Amazon.com, here's a volume containing A Christmas Carol, The Chimes, The Crickets on the Hearth. The Battle of Life may not be available for e reasonable price; as we; as well as The Haunted Man.

The following links are to versions by theProject Gutenberg:

2 Comments:

Blogger reader_iam said...

I have a couple of collections that contain all or most of these, somewhere in the house. If I can get my hands on them, I'll let you know what they are, and you could probably order them used through a good bookfind service.

I love them all and first read most of them (or had them read to me) in childhood, some by my British grandfather.

Good memories; thanks for bring them to mind!

12/26/2005 03:35:00 PM  
Blogger bill said...

Thanks! It's been years since I've read Dickens and can't exactly remember which ones I've read. I've been thinking about working thorugh a volume or two in between everything else.

12/26/2005 09:19:00 PM  

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