Selected Short Fiction Paperback – Jul 30 1976
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About the Author
Charles Dickens was born on February 7, 1812, in Landport, Portsea, England. He died in Kent on June 9, 1870. The second of eight children of a family continually plagued by debt, the young Dickens came to know not only hunger and privation,but also the horror of the infamous debtors’ prison and the evils of child labor. A turn of fortune in the shape of a legacy brought release from the nightmare of prison and “slave” factories and afforded Dickens the opportunity of two years’ formal schooling at Wellington House Academy. He worked as an attorney’s clerk and newspaper reporter until his Sketches by Boz (1836) and The Pickwick Papers (1837) brought him the amazing and instant success that was to be his for the remainder of his life. In later years, the pressure of serial writing, editorial duties, lectures, and social commitments led to his separation from Catherine Hogarth after twenty-three years of marriage. It also hastened his death at the age of fifty-eight, when he was characteristically engaged in a multitude of work.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The 400 page book published by Penguin English Classics includes:
Tales of the Supernatural;
The Story of a Goblin who stole a sexton is a spooky tale about a grouchy gravedigger who is stolen by Goblins on a Christmas Eve long ago.
Other stories in this section include "The Baron of Grozgwig" who learned through a ghostly apparation to enjoy the good things of life.
A Confession in the Time of Charles II is the first person narrative of a murderer who describes how his crime was discovered.
To Be Read at Dusk is a ghost story set in Switzerland. The Signalman at Mugby Junction is a harrowing tale of a dark and stormy night at a lonely railroad junction.
Impressionist Sketches-many taken from Dickens' early work "Sketches from Boz" include short articles on an election for parish beadle, Seven Dials area of London and the best of the lot: The Christmas Tree. A few other short pieces are included in this section.
This reviewer found most interesting the third section of the Penguin edition dealing with dramatic monolgues by fascinating characters drawn with Dicken's unmatched skill:
Somebody's Luggage deals with a man finding old luggage containing a mansucript. Mrs Lirriper is a cockney owner of a London lodging. She and her friend raise a small boy after the child's mother dies in the room she has rented in the Lirriper hotel. This story is very sentimental but is touching without being treacly!
Doctor Marigold's prescriptions is another touching tale about a dealer in cheap merchandise who adopts a young girl who is deaf and dumb.
Mugby Junction pokes fun at the atrocious refreshment establishments available to the British train traveler.
Charles Dickens is a genius of the printed word. These little known stories are worthy of being wider known.
I can't say the book is a spell-binder for me, but I enjoy it now and then.