Charles Dickens Might Be Famous For His Full-Length Novels, But His Exciting And Engaging Short Stories Aren’t To Be Missed! Short Stories: READ ONLINE:
- Master Humphrey’s Clock [1840-1]
- The Lamplighter’s Story 
- To Be Read At Dusk 
- A House to Let (with others) 
- The Signal-Man
- The Haunted House 
- The Trial For Murder
- Hunted Down 
- A Holiday Romance 
- George Silverman’s Explanation 
- Chapter 26. England Under Henry The Seventh
The great Charles Dickens is famous for his genre-bending books that made him one of the greatest writers in the history of literature. However, along with the full-length novels, he also wrote numerous short stories that are still worth our while.
In a way, because of the format, these tiny tales allowed the master to forget about the limits, boundaries, deadlines, and simply channel his talent into the words and phrases. We’ve got the best collection of his short tales that are equally funny, engaging and rewarding.
Master Humphrey’s Clock
This is actually a periodical that used to hit the shelves every week. It was written/edited by Dickens alone during the 1840-1841 period – for 1, 5 years. The main story features Mr. Humphrey who introduces his own self and his small-yet-peculiar circle of acquaintances. By the way, Mr. Pickwick is one of his friends, and all the gents like to tell stories.
This format gave Dickens a perfect opportunity to print his short tales on a weekly basis. Fact: at first, the writer saw The Old Curiosity Shop, one of his greatest novels ever, as a short story; however, he later decided to turn it into a novel. Still, this man is the narrator in the beginning of the book and introduces the main characters.
At the end of the day, this is a regular story about a lonely man who wants to feel the thrill of life again. He establishes a club that invites people to come in and share their stories with the rest of the audience. If you love Dickens, you’ll certainly appreciate it.
The Lamplighter’s Story
Yes, it’s a story about lamplighters – their lifestyle, their daily routine, and everything in between. This isn’t a particularly thought-provoking or educational tale, but if you like Dickens’s trademark writing style and sense of humor, you can enjoy it after a hard day at work while cozied up on your couch.
Tom’s parents want him to marry a girl of their choosing, but he refuses to tie the knot with her because she comes from a poor family. Even though this is a pretty short story, it’s still quite entertaining.
To Be Read At Dusk
Do you love ghost stories? Spooky tales that mix mystery and reality together to deliver a breathtaking experience? Well, To Be Read At Dusk is one of the many ghost stories by the legendary writer, and it’s probably one of the best.
It came out in 1852. Creepy tales are usually intended for the little ones, but, in all fairness, this nail-biter will be able to scare you even if you’re a grown-up man/woman. Definitely a must-read for the fans of otherworldly stuff and well-written plots.
A House to Let (with others)
This is quite an unusual short story because it was written by not one, but 4 big-time writers of the XIX century. Dickens did most of the work, but Collins was of great help and wrote the preface. Gaskell and Procter, in turn, put their hearts and minds into the second part of the story.
It’s a Christmas tale, and initially, Charles, who had already worked with Wilkie, wanted it to be a joint effort. But he later managed to convince the other two authors to write whole chapters for it. A House to Let came out in 1858 in Dickens’s magazine and was well-received by the audience.
The story follows an older woman who notices strange things in the shabby house right next to her home and asks her servant and her secret admirer to help her figure out what’s really happening. Is there a ghost living in the abandoned house, or maybe it’s just the wind?
Another ghost story by the famed writer. A regular signal-man who’s working on the local railway tells the narrator about an eerie ghost that has been following him on every step of the way. And every time it appears, something terrifying happens.
The man has grown desperate and really needs some guidance. The first time he saw the ghost, two trains crashed into each other, killing numerous innocent passengers. The critics claim that Dickens was inspired by a horrifying tunnel crash that took place in ’61.
The Haunted House
Whenever he had the chance, Dickens loved to work with other writers and introduce their styles into his works. In 1859, he created The Haunted House and published it in his famous weekly periodical. The interesting thing about it – he wrote the first and the last tales, while the rest of them except for one were made by his fellow writers.
The opening tale written by Dickens is, without a doubt, the best one in the collection and proves once again that he is, indeed, a master when it comes to engaging characters, gripping plots and brilliant storytelling.
It’s worth mentioning that the fine tradition of releasing a fresh Christmas story every year was introduced by Dickens back in ’43 when A Christmas Carol first came out. The Haunted House is worth checking out for the mighty concentration of literary talent if nothing else.
The Trial For Murder
Dickens had a gift: he knew people very well and could “get into their shoes” without even having to spend a lot of time with them. His characters are always on point, and he never disappoints with his images. This story is centered on a man who’s working at a bank.
He’s bored out of his mind and lacks excitement and thrill in his daily routine. However, when an angry and vindictive ghost comes after him, his entire world flips upside down, making him appreciate his old life like never before. This is the most popular ghost story by Dickens after the legendary “A Christmas Carol.”
Heavily based on real events, this is a detective thriller that follows a messy story involving life-insurance fraud and even poisoning. Fact: with this tale, Dickens influenced numerous authors to take a different look at the policemen and write about their heroic routine.
As a matter of fact, police detectives weren’t ever nearly as popular as they became after the master introduced his line-up of thrillers. Hunted Down was published in 1860 and received numerous rave reviews.
A Holiday Romance
This is probably the cutest and most heart-warming collection of stories (4 in total) that are told by four kids. Yes, they are the main characters of these tales, and, by using children as his narrators, Dickens managed to create a truly awesome experience for the readers.
George Silverman’s Explanation
George is an unsatisfied man. He’s convinced that he lived an unfulfilled life, but doesn’t want to (or can’t’) change it. All he can do about it – write a book.
Chapter 26. England Under Henry The Seventh
Back in 1851, Dickens wrote a grandiose book with only one idea in mind: to make the history of his home, England, as interesting and exciting to kids as possible. He dedicated it to his own children. The book became internationally known and was even included in the educational program of the UK.
Chapter 26 describes the ups and downs of the country under the rule of King Henry VII. When he ascended to the throne, people were quick to call him a savior. However, he turned out to be a disappointment for the regular men and women.
Alright, ladies and gentlemen, that’s it for our collection of short stories by the magnificent Charles Dickens. As you can see now, he wrote more than enough of those, and most of them became popular during his lifetime.
Collaborations with other famous writers, ghost stories, memorable characters and tales based on real events – that’s what you’ll find in these tiny-yet-exciting books. The spirit of Christmas is present in the majority of his spooky ghost stories, and that means you can read them with your little ones. Just make sure not to get them scared!
Dickens’s legacy can never be overrated, simply because it’s bigger than all of us combined. By using a simple writing style, creating somewhat clumsy and hilarious characters and painting largely in black and white, the master faced the challenges of his time and showed a way out of many problems.
His short stories aren’t particularly sophisticated, complex and educational, but they don’t even need to be. Dickens wrote them to be relaxing, funny and pleasing. If you want something bigger, check out his monumental novels.