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The Chimes

The Chimes by Charles Dickens
By: (1812-1870)

The Chimes: A Goblin Story of Some Bells that Rang an Old Year Out and a New Year In is the second of Charles Dickens' Christmas books, published in 1844. Its contemporary setting is the "Hungry Forties", a time of social and political unrest, and the book has a strong moral message. It remained popular for many years, although its fame has since been eclipsed by that of A Christmas Carol, the first of the series.

Our hero Toby ("Trotty") Veck is a poor but hard-working man, whose beloved daughter Meg is due to marry on New Year's Day. Trotty, who is appalled by newspaper reports of crime and immorality, is further depressed by his encounters with the rich and influential Alderman Cute and Sir Joseph Bowley, who make him feel that the poor have no right to exist in society, and his daughter has no right to marry. Trotty hears messages in the chimes of the church bells, which lead him to visit the belfry at night on New Year's Eve... (Introduction by Ruth Golding)

First Page:

THE CHIMES

CHAPTER I First Quarter.

Here are not many people and as it is desirable that a story teller and a story reader should establish a mutual understanding as soon as possible, I beg it to be noticed that I confine this observation neither to young people nor to little people, but extend it to all conditions of people: little and big, young and old: yet growing up, or already growing down again there are not, I say, many people who would care to sleep in a church. I don't mean at sermon time in warm weather (when the thing has actually been done, once or twice), but in the night, and alone. A great multitude of persons will be violently astonished, I know, by this position, in the broad bold Day. But it applies to Night. It must be argued by night, and I will undertake to maintain it successfully on any gusty winter's night appointed for the purpose, with any one opponent chosen from the rest, who will meet me singly in an old churchyard, before an old church door; and will previously empower me to lock him in, if needful to his satisfaction, until morning... Continue reading book >>


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Reviews (Rated: 5 Stars - 1 review)

January 2, 2014
Subject: The Chimes
Good story very well read.


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