Charles Dickens – The Cricket on the Hearth (1845)

The Cricket on the Hearth

The Cricket on the Hearth

Last year, Christmas approaching, I read Dickens’s Christmas novella, in part to investigate what else Dickens may have invented for the English variant of the festival. I found it senseless and sensible, but now will be much kinder to crickets who can raise phantoms from the fireplace. Apparently the novella sold like hotcakes in December 1845 and, more recently, critics have compared it favourably to Shakespearean comedy. I can credit the author’s marketing savvy that produced the former but will stick with Falstaff, sack-cloth and all, for the latter.

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