Although a best seller in its day, The Cricket on the Hearth is seen by many of this generation as standing in the shadow of Charles Dickens’ more popular volume A Christmas Carol.
A more-than-delightful trace through a Victorian Christmas, Dickens tells the story of a kindly couple and their mysterious lodger, a poor toymaker and his blind daughter, a lost son, and a parsimonious toy merchant set upon marrying a virtuous young maiden against her better desires.
But as you’d expect from Dickens, a magic of sorts is stirring amidst the story’s participants—all under the watchful eyes of a songful cricket that, as Dickens takes hold of your imagination, may prove to be something so much more.
|Publisher:||Angels' Portion Books|
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.50(d)|
About the Author
Born in Portsmouth, Dickens left school to work in a factory when his father was incarcerated in a debtors' prison. Despite his lack of formal education, he edited a weekly journal for 20 years, wrote 15 novels, five novellas, hundreds of short stories and non-fiction articles, lectured and performed readings extensively, was an indefatigable letter writer, and campaigned vigorously for children's rights, education, and other social reforms.
Dickens's literary success began with the 1836 serial publication of The Pickwick Papers. Within a few years he had become an international literary celebrity, famous for his humour, satire, and keen observation of character and society. His novels, most published in monthly or weekly instalments, pioneered the serial publication of narrative fiction, which became the dominant Victorian mode for novel publication. Cliffhanger endings in his serial publications kept readers in suspense. The installment format allowed Dickens to evaluate his audience's reaction, and he often modified his plot and character development based on such feedback. For example, when his wife's chiropodist expressed distress at the way Miss Mowcher in David Copperfield seemed to reflect her disabilities, Dickens improved the character with positive features. His plots were carefully constructed, and he often wove elements from topical events into his narratives. Masses of the illiterate poor chipped in ha'pennies to have each new monthly episode read to them, opening up and inspiring a new class of readers.
His 1843 novella A Christmas Carol remains especially popular and continues to inspire adaptations in every artistic genre. Oliver Twist and Great Expectations are also frequently adapted and, like many of his novels, evoke images of early Victorian London. His 1859 novel A Tale of Two Cities (set in London and Paris) is his best-known work of historical fiction. The most famous celebrity of his era, he undertook, in response to public demand, a series of public reading tours in the later part of his career. Dickens has been praised by many of his fellow writers-from Leo Tolstoy to George Orwell, G. K. Chesterton, and Tom Wolfe-for his realism, comedy, prose style, unique characterisations, and social criticism. However, Oscar Wilde, Henry James, and Virginia Woolf complained of a lack of psychological depth, loose writing, and a vein of sentimentalism.
Date of Birth:February 7, 1812
Date of Death:June 18, 1870
Place of Birth:Portsmouth, England
Place of Death:Gad's Hill, Kent, England
Education:Home-schooling; attended Dame School at Chatham briefly and Wellington