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The Cricket on the Hearth

The Cricket on the Hearth by Charles Dickens
By: (1812-1870)

Charles Dickens' novel, The Cricket on the Hearth, is a heartwarming and touching story that centers around a family living in Victorian England. The protagonist, John Peerybingle, is a kind-hearted carrier who finds true happiness in his simple life. His wife, Dot, is loving and compassionate, embodying the perfect Victorian wife.

The novel takes a supernatural turn when a mysterious visitor, Tackleton, brings discord and suspicion into the Peerybingle household. However, it is the symbolic presence of the cricket on the hearth that acts as a guiding light for the family, bringing them back together and restoring harmony.

Dickens' writing is as captivating and vivid as ever, painting a vivid picture of the bustling streets of London and the cozy interior of the Peerybingle's home. The characters are well-developed and endearing, making the reader feel a deep connection to their joys and struggles.

Overall, The Cricket on the Hearth is a beautifully written novel that explores themes of love, redemption, and the power of family bonds. Dickens' timeless storytelling and keen observations of human nature make this a must-read for fans of classic literature.

Book Description:
The tale of John Peerybingle, the good-hearted carrier, and his young wife Mary ('Dot'), interwoven with the story of poor toymaker Caleb Plummer, his beloved blind daughter Bertha, and the harsh old toy merchant Tackleton, who is due to marry May Fielding, a childhood friend of Dot. Comic relief is provided by Tilly Slowboy, the disaster-prone nursemaid of John and Dot's baby, and Boxer, the family dog.

The cricket who chirps on the family hearth assumes fairy form to save the day when disaster looms in the form of a mysterious stranger. Sentimental? Certainly - but this, the third (1845) of Dickens' short Christmas books, is as charming and irresistible as its predecessors A Christmas Carol (1843) and The Chimes (1844).

The novella is subdivided into chapters called 'Chirps', similar to the 'Quarters' of The Chimes or the 'Staves' of A Christmas Carol. (Introduction by Ruth Golding)

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