The Cricket on the Hearth: A Fairy Tale of Home

The Cricket on the Hearth: A Fairy Tale of Home

Charles Dickens

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  • EAN: 9788832530353
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The Cricket on the Hearth: A Fairy Tale of Home is a novella by Charles Dickens, published by Bradbury and Evans, and released 20 December 1845 with illustrations by Daniel Maclise, John Leech, Richard Doyle, Clarkson Stanfield and Edwin Henry Landseer. Dickens began writing the book around 17 October 1845 and finished it by 1 December. Like all of Dickens's Christmas books, it was published in book form, not as a serial.

In July 1845, Dickens contemplated forming a periodical focusing on the concerns of the home. It was to be called The Cricket, but the plan fell through, and he transformed his idea into a Christmas book in which he abandoned social criticism, current events, and topical themes in favour of simple fantasy and a domestic setting for his hero's redemption. The book was released on 20 December 1845 (the title page read "1846") and sold briskly into the New Year. Seventeen stage productions opened during the Christmas season 1845 with one production receiving Dickens's approval and opening on the same day as the book's release. Dickens read the tale four times in public performance. It has been dramatised in numerous languages and for years was more popular on stage than A Christmas Carol. Cricket is less explicitly Christian than some of Dickens's other Christmas books, and it has been criticised for its sentimentality, but contemporary readers were attracted to its depiction of the Victorian ideal of the happy home.

John Peerybingle, a carrier, lives with his young wife Dot, their baby boy and their nanny Tilly Slowboy. A cricket chirps on the hearth and acts as a guardian angel to the family. One day a mysterious elderly stranger comes to visit and takes up lodging at Peerybingle's house for a few days.

The life of the Peerybingles intersects with that of Caleb Plummer, a poor toymaker employed by the miser Mr. Tackleton. Caleb has a blind daughter Bertha, and a son Edward, who travelled to South America and is thought to be dead.

The miser Tackleton is now on the eve of marrying Edward's sweetheart, May, but she does not love Tackleton. Tackleton tells John Peerybingle that his wife Dot has cheated on him, and shows him a clandestine scene in which Dot embraces the mysterious lodger; the latter, who is in disguise, is actually a much younger man than he seems. John is cut to the heart over this as he loves his wife dearly, but decides after some deliberations to relieve his wife of their marriage contract.

Read the complete novel for further story....
 
  • Charles Dickens Cover

    Charles John Huffam Dickens è stato uno scrittore, giornalista e reporter di viaggio britannico. Nacque a Portsmouth nel 1812 ma si trasferì ben presto a Londra dove visse fino alla sua morte, nel 1870. I nonni paterni erano stati domestici presso famiglie della nobiltà; il nonno materno, colpevole di appropriazione indebita, s’era sottratto all’arresto con la fuga. Nel 1824 il padre, un modesto impiegato con gusti e abitudini superiori alle sue possibilità, fu rinchiuso per debiti nelle carceri londinesi di Marshalsea e il piccolo Charles, interrotti gli studi, venne messo a lavorare per sei mesi in una fabbrica di lucido per scarpe. Questa precoce esperienza di miseria, umiliazione e abbandono (anche dopo la scarcerazione del padre, la madre aveva... Approfondisci
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