Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: The Chimes - Dickens' forgotten Christmas Book

  1. #1
    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Somewhere in the South East of England
    Posts
    1,238

    The Chimes - Dickens' forgotten Christmas Book

    And forgotten for very good reasons. Dickens made a great success with A Christmas Carol - rightly so. He then wrote a Christmas Book/long short story for each Christmas for the following four years. Only The Haunted Man is specifically set at Christmas.

    I greatly admire A Christmas Carol so I thought I'd try the others and I've recently re-read The Chimes. The work it reminded me most of was The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, oddly enough, with virtuous working class being endlessly put down by stupid and complacent bourgeoisie.

    Dickens was clearly trying to follow but not reproduce A Christmas Carol, so The Chimes is set at New Year, not Christmas. There is a supernatural visitation to a character who learns from it, but the character - Trotty Veck - is good hearted unlike Scrooge, so it seems he doesn't need to learn anything significant. (He read in a newspaper how a young desititute mother killed herself and thinks it very wrong. The chimes in the nearby church tower show how in time his own daughter could do the same.) The happy ending - so it was all a dream - is unconvincing.

    Not Dickens at his best.
    Previously JonathanB

    The more I read, the more I shall covet to read. Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Partion3, Section 1, Member 1, Subsection 1

  2. #2
    Registered User kev67's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Reading, England
    Posts
    2,260
    I read the Penguin clothbound edition of A Christmas Carol, which came with several other short Christmas stories. Most of the other stories were not very good. My favourite was one of a Christmas dinner spent with a number of down-and-out people. I suspected this was a Christmas dinner attended and paid for by Dickens himself. It was particularly good because one of the guests was a down-and-out woman.
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
    Charles Dickens, by George Orwell

  3. #3
    Yes, there's some nice descriptive parts to it at the start though. There's a particular part describing the wind around the church for example that I remember and enjoyed.

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    15
    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanB View Post
    And forgotten for very good reasons. Dickens made a great success with A Christmas Carol - rightly so. He then wrote a Christmas Book/long short story for each Christmas for the following four years. Only The Haunted Man is specifically set at Christmas.

    I greatly admire A Christmas Carol so I thought I'd try the others and I've recently re-read The Chimes. The work it reminded me most of was The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, oddly enough, with virtuous working class being endlessly put down by stupid and complacent bourgeoisie.

    Dickens was clearly trying to follow but not reproduce A Christmas Carol, so The Chimes is set at New Year, not Christmas. There is a supernatural visitation to a character who learns from it, but the character - Trotty Veck - is good hearted unlike Scrooge, so it seems he doesn't need to learn anything significant. (He read in a newspaper how a young desititute mother killed herself and thinks it very wrong. The chimes in the nearby church tower show how in time his own daughter could do the same.) The happy ending - so it was all a dream - is unconvincing.

    Not Dickens at his best.
    I didn't know this was all a dream. Is that definitely so?

    I wonder why all of Dickens' other Christmas stories are all virtually unknown, while it's almost impossible NOT to know the story of Scrooge. Somehow, A Christmas carol must have resonated very deeply with the human psyche, while the other stories just did not. If you mention the name Scrooge, it would hard to find somehow with whom it was not unfamiliar. But mention the name Redlaw? Nobody would know.

Similar Threads

  1. Please help me find a forgotten book
    By terrabit in forum General Literature
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 09-12-2014, 01:54 AM
  2. Hi all! First time here. I have forgotten the name of a book...
    By Mrsgenie in forum General Literature
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-03-2011, 04:15 PM
  3. Forgotten book title/author- help?
    By TheJokerIsWild in forum General Literature
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 12-02-2010, 10:29 AM
  4. Dickens ~ The Christmas Books
    By Red-Headed in forum Dickens, Charles
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 12-21-2009, 04:31 AM
  5. A Book Long Forgotten
    By Inafllible in forum General Literature
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 07-13-2008, 02:26 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •