This is the most popular Christmas story after A Christmas Carol, a true masterpiece. Download The Cricket on the Hearth, READ online FREE or buy:
Charles Dickens was a big believer in the serialized form of publication and most of his works were initially released in weekly/monthly installments. At the same time, all of his Christmas books avoided this method and were published as full-length books.
This novella came out in 1845. It took the writer less than two months to write it; yet, it was huge in terms of commercial success and positive reviews from the critics and the fans. Dickens cherished this story like no other and was proud to call it intimate, tranquil and heart-warming.
Not Just Another Christmas Story
It’s the 3rd of the 5 Christmas books. In ’45, before starting to work on this fascinating story, Dickens wanted to create a periodical that would be centered on the domestic, down-to-Earth themes. However, a couple of months later, he decided to turn his initial idea into a Christmas novella.
This is one of the rare works by Dickens that doesn’t include social satire, criticism, injustice, or anything like that. Yes, those are his most favored themes, but not this time around. In The Cricket, the writer wanted to write a domestic drama with a little bit of fantasy.
Huge Success And International Acclaim
As much as 17 stage plays opened when Christmas arrived, which one of the productions premiering on the same day as the novella itself. Overall, the master read his book in public 4 times. It was translated into several languages and was hugely popular in theaters.
In fact, for many years, it was even more popular than the legendary A Christmas Carol. The critics didn’t really like the sentimentality of the story, among other things. At the same time, the readers in the 21st century love it for the meticulous depiction of what was considered to be a joyful and happy home in the XIX century.
The Cricket On The Hearth Summary
John, the main character of the story, is happy with life: he’s got a beautiful wife and a kid. They’re living with the boy’s nanny. The cricket is their lucky charm and guardian, protecting them from all evil. One day, a stranger, an older man, visits the family and spends a couple of days at their house.
Soon, John and his family come across Caleb, a gifted man who makes toys and sells them to a rich and greedy man, Mr. Tackleton. All of a sudden, the miser approaches John and tells him that his spouse has been unfaithful.
At first, John can’t believe it, but later, after getting his heart broken, he becomes angry at her. However, the woman has never done anything wrong to him, and, thankfully, he realizes that at the end of the story.
As it turns out, Edward, Caleb’s son, who traveled to the other side of the world and was considered to be dead, is actually alive. He has a sweetheart, May, and Tackleton is about to tie the known with her. She has no feelings for him but has no other choice but to be with him.
And the stranger, who John’s wife was supposedly embracing, is, in reality, Edward in disguise. He goes on to marry the love of his life, and the miser finally lets go of his wicked ways and turns into a gentle man. Yes, this is a happy story, and Dickens did a great job of keeping the Christmas spirit alive.