Friday, April 30, 2010

The Cricket on the Hearth

Book Share Friday: The Cricket on the Hearth
The Cricket on the Hearth is a Charles Dickens' story that I had never heard of, and I stumbled on it at a tag sale. I have the Dover thrift version, but a much older version is shown here. I have not read this yet, and it is a Christmas book, so it may be awhile before I get to it, but if you are interested, go here to read more about it. Here is a link to read it online.

This is the plot description from Wikipedia:
John Peerybingle, a carrier, lives with his young wife Dot, their baby, their nanny Tilly Slowboy, and a mysterious old stranger with a long white beard. A cricket constantly chirps on the hearth and acts as a guardian angel to the family, at one point assuming a human voice to warn John that his suspicions that Dot is having an affair with the mysterious lodger are wrong.

The life of the Peerybingles frequently 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 traveled to South America and was thought dead. The miser Tackleton is now on the eve of marrying Edward's sweetheart, May, but she does not love Tackleton.

In the end, the mysterious lodger is revealed to be none other than Edward who has returned home in disguise. He marries May hours before she is scheduled to marry Tackleton. However Tackleton's heart is melted by the Christmas season, like Ebenezer Scrooge, and he surrenders May to her true love.

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