Three Ghost Stories by Charles Dickens
The Signal-Man is a short story by Charles Dickens, first published as part of the "Mugby Junction" collection in the 1866 Christmas edition of All the Year Round.
The railway signal-man of the title tells the narrator of a ghost that has been haunting him. Each spectral appearance precedes a tragic event on the railway on which the signalman works. The signalman's work is at a signalbox in a deep cutting near a tunnel entrance on a lonely part of the railway line, and he controls the movements of passing trains. When there is danger, his fellow signalmen alert him by telegraph and alarms. Three times, he receives phantom warnings of danger when his bell rings in a fashion that only he can hear. Each warning is succeeded soon by the appearance of the spectre, and then by a terrible accident.
The first accident involves a terrible collision between two trains in the tunnel. It is likely that Dickens based this incident on the Clayton Tunnel crash that occurred during 1861, five years before he wrote the story. Readers during 1866 would have been familiar with this major disaster. The second warning involves the mysterious death of a young woman on a passing train. The final warning is a premonition of the signalman's own death.
The Haunted House is a story written in 1859 for the weekly periodical All the Year Round. It was "Conducted by Charles Dickens", with contributions from Elizabeth Gaskell, Wilkie Collins, Adelaide Proctor, George Sala and Hesba Stretton. The story appeared in the Extra Christmas Number on 13 December 1859.
Dickens began a tradition of Christmas publications with A Christmas Carol in 1843 and his Christmas stories soon became a national institution. The Haunted House was his 1859 offering, first published in his weekly periodical All The Year Round.
The Haunted House is a "portmanteau" story, with Dickens writing the opening and closing stories, framing stories by Dickens himself and five other authors. The opening story by Dickens, The Mortals in the House, is the strongest of the collection and demonstrates his mastery of storytelling and characterisation. When the narrator sees a deserted house from his railway carriage he becomes determined to take up residence there. However, the house is said to be haunted and the servants gradually become agitated. The narrator sends them away and invites a group of his friends to stay with him and fend for themselves.
On Christmas Eve the friends arrive with the aim of discovering evidence of the supernatural. Secluded in their rooms for the holiday, the friends agree to keep silent about any ghostly experiences until they gather on Twelfth Night.
The ghosts the characters see have no connection with the house, and are not even really ghosts; the stories are of injustice, terror, or regret.
The tales are all very different, but each has an element of the strange and scary. Some of the house guests have heard stories from ghosts while others have had out-of-body experiences. Wilkie Collins tells a seafaring story of Spanish pirates and the torment of a candle that, as it burns, takes the narrator ever closer to explosion and death. Dickens himself contributes The Ghost in Master B's Room, a very peculiar tale of the ghost of innocence that hints at the author’s own feelings of melancholy. Elizabeth Gaskell contributes a strong story of working people in the north of England. The stories by the other authors are adequate. The closing story, The Ghost in the Corner Room, is again by Dickens.
Today, "The Haunted House of 1859" is one of the attractions at Dickens World in Chatham in Kent.
The Trial For Murder
The Trial For Murder is a book written by Charles Dickens. It is widely considered to be one of the top 100 greatest books of all time. This great novel will surely attract a whole new generation of readers. For many, The Trial For Murder is required reading for various courses and curriculums. And for others who simply enjoy reading timeless pieces of classic literature, this gem by Charles Dickens is highly recommended. Published by Quill Pen Classics and beautifully produced, The Trial For Murder would make an ideal gift and it should be a part of everyone's personal library.
Charles John Huffam Dickens ( /ˈtʃɑrlz ˈdɪkɪnz/; 7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870) was the most popular English novelist of the Victorian era, and he remains popular, responsible for some of English literature's most iconic characters. Many of his novels, with their recurrent concern for social reform, first appeared in magazines in serialised form, a popular format at the time. Unlike other authors who completed entire novels before serialisation, Dickens often created the episodes as they were being serialised. The practice lent his stories a particular rhythm, punctuated by cliffhangers to keep the public looking forward to the next installment. The continuing popularity of his novels and short stories is such that they have never gone out of print. His work has been praised for its realism, mastery of prose, comic genius and unique personalities by writers such as George Gissing, Leo Tolstoy, and G. K. Chesterton; though others, such as Henry James and Virginia Woolf, criticised it for sentimentality and implausibility.
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This is an enjoyable read for anyone on a rainy day. Just don't read it at night if you want to sleep! Classic Charles Dickens stye with a good plot and a great story line. Would recommend to anyone who like Dickens or likes to read.
Reviewed September 8, 2011
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