Each of these short stories was written specifically for Christmas. They combine concern for social ills with the myths and memories of childhood and traditional Christmas spirit-lore. The stories include "A Christmas Carol", "The Chimes", "The Battle of Life" and "The Cricket on the Hearth". AUTHOR Charles John Huffam Dickens FRSA (7 February 1812 - 9 June 1870), pen-name "Boz", was the most popular English novelist of the Victorian era and one of the most popular of all time. He created some of literature's most memorable characters. His novels and short stories have never gone out of print. A concern with what he saw as the pressing need for social reform is a theme that runs throughout his work. Much of his work first appeared in periodicals and magazines in serialised form, a favoured way of publishing fiction at the time. Dickens, unlike others who would complete entire novels before serial publication commenced, often wrote his in parts, in the order in which they were meant to appear. The practice lent his stories a particular rhythm, punctuated by one cliffhanger after another to keep the public eager for the next installment.
The Haunted Man
The Cricket on the Hearth
The Battle of Life
A Christmas Carol
I read this collection of stories 3 years ago for a Book Club and we all agreed that none of the other stories is a patch on "A Christmas Carol".
I did enjoy "The Cricket on the Hearth", a suspenseful story of
The Haunted Man and the Ghost's Bargain is the third story in this book in which various types of spirit show the protagonist the error of his ways.
And a final piece of advice - Don't start by reading "The Battle of Life" like I did, as it's possibly the most annoying story I have ever read!
The Battle of Life: Self-sacrifice and familial love are the messages here. Some wonderfully drawn characters in Clemency Newcome (servant) and Messrs. Snitchey and Craggs (lawyers). Expectations are nicely confounded in this one.
This edition contains A Christmas Carol, the Chimes, the Cricket on the Hearth, Battle of Life, and the Hunted Man. I still liked this book even though I really only liked 2 of the 5 stories. It's well put together and well organized. It says it's illustrated, but only a few for the first two stories and the others don't have any.
Each story is about 100 pages long, so you can read each one in a day I would think.