The Oxford illustrated Dickens

by Charles Dickens

Paper Book, 1997

Status

Available

Publication

Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, [1997-1998].

Description

A selection of Christmas stories by Charles Dickens, the most widely read English novelist. The stories featured in this collection were written in early Victorian era Britain when it was experiencing a nostalgic interest in its forgotten Christmas traditions, and at the time when new customs such as the Christmas tree and greeting cards were being introduced.

User reviews

LibraryThing member nosajeel
After The Christmas Carol Dickens wrote four more Christmas novellas, generally of declining although still high quality. Then he shifted to annual Christmas editions of his journals, first Household Words and then All the Year Round. These issues would generally have a framing story by Dickens,
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several stories that fit the frame by the co-authors he selected with one or two by Dickens himself, and then a concluding story by Dickens. For example, in Somebody's Luggage the framing story is about luggage that has been left in the room of an inn for years and the individual stories were all found in the luggage.

Hesperus Classics has republished all of these original volumes so you can read them in their entirety and put the Dickens contributions in the context he created. It is an interesting way to experience them, although I only read two or three of the volumes from beginning to end, will look forward to reading more of them. But even if you just read Dickens' stories, it is helpful to have the full volume to get a better context.

All of that said, the large majority of the stories are not particularly spectacular. And it is not like reading Sketches by Boz, which is a little uneven but has a lot of great moments and is like a foreshadowing of what is to come. Instead, these were written at the same time as Dickens' greatest novels and generally appear to be a little rushed. There's a reason people don't generally buy Dickens short stories collections.

But there is a lot of humor and warmth, drama and melodrama, and interest, in a number of these stories. Often the frame itself is more interesting and characters more compelling than the stories themselves. So worth dipping into, at least once you've read everything else.
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LibraryThing member dbeveridge
Every Christmas season I read A Christmas Carol. Dickens is a touchstone for me, reminding me that passion and compassion are lifeblood.
LibraryThing member jguidry
My edition had four classic Christmas stories by Charles Dickens.  Each had the usual ghostly element and redemption in time for the holiday season.  The best story, of course, was the classic Christmas Carol", but I also really liked "The Cricket on the Hearth".  It had fun elements of mistaken
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identity that made a fun story."
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LibraryThing member jasonlf
After The Christmas Carol Dickens wrote four more Christmas novellas, generally of declining although still high quality. Then he shifted to annual Christmas editions of his journals, first Household Words and then All the Year Round. These issues would generally have a framing story by Dickens,
Show More
several stories that fit the frame by the co-authors he selected with one or two by Dickens himself, and then a concluding story by Dickens. For example, in Somebody's Luggage the framing story is about luggage that has been left in the room of an inn for years and the individual stories were all found in the luggage.

Hesperus Classics has republished all of these original volumes so you can read them in their entirety and put the Dickens contributions in the context he created. It is an interesting way to experience them, although I only read two or three of the volumes from beginning to end, will look forward to reading more of them. But even if you just read Dickens' stories, it is helpful to have the full volume to get a better context.

All of that said, the large majority of the stories are not particularly spectacular. And it is not like reading Sketches by Boz, which is a little uneven but has a lot of great moments and is like a foreshadowing of what is to come. Instead, these were written at the same time as Dickens' greatest novels and generally appear to be a little rushed. There's a reason people don't generally buy Dickens short stories collections.

But there is a lot of humor and warmth, drama and melodrama, and interest, in a number of these stories. Often the frame itself is more interesting and characters more compelling than the stories themselves. So worth dipping into, at least once you've read everything else.
Show Less

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