Charles Dickens, the great British writer and social critic, is known mostly for his Victorian era works – “Great Expectations”, “David Copperfield”, and “A Christmas Carol”. But did you know that Dickens wrote horror stories and tales of the supernatural? This collection of spooky short stories reveals the development of Dickens’ writing from apprentice to master writer.
Several of the stories were first imbedded in Dickens earlier novels, “The Pickwick Papers” and “Nicholas Nickleby”. Others were published in Household Words, a popular magazine that Dickens founded and edited himself. Through these creations, Dickens probes the human condition and spins spine tingling tales with a dash of occasional humor – especially with his creative character names.
In ‘The Story of the Goblins Who Stole a Sexton’ Gabriel Grub, a morose and surly church sexton, digs a grave on Christmas Eve while the rest of the village is celebrating. Grub thinks he is alone in the graveyard, but soon goblins appear making a claim on his life. ‘The No. 1 Branch Line: The Signalman’, features a hiker who stumbles upon a signalman terrorized by a dark apparition warning of impending train accidents and his own doom. In ‘The Baron of Grozwig’, Baron von Koëldwethout suffers from marital dissatisfaction and is visited by the Genius of Despair and Suicide.
An added value to this excellent compilation is a short biography of Dickens’ life and a synopsis of each of his major works. This is a great book for reading on a dark and stormy night, but beware of spirits. 173 pages. FIC DIC