‘The Chimes’ was Charles Dickens’s second Christmas Book. Dealing with England’s social ills in the first half of the 19th century through the medium of spirit goblins, in a somewhat similar manner to ‘A Christmas Carol’. This novella is subtitled ‘A Goblin Story of some bells that rang an old year out and a new one in’. I read my Folio Society edition today.

As usual, I will refrain from giving details so I will not reveal the ending which gives some sort of meaning to a story which, to my mind, does not hang together. A rather long-winded description of the kind of storm that we have just experienced introduces the bells and their nature; thereafter the tale limps along to a weak conclusion which, according to Christopher Hibbert’s introduction, brought the writer to ‘burst into tears’, seemingly of relief. Just as ‘A Christmas Carol’ focuses on a life-changing Christmas Eve, ‘The Chimes’ are concerned with a memorable New Year’s Eve.

The characters are unmemorable,

although the illustrator, Charles Keeping, has, as usual, brought them to life.

This evening we reprised yesterday’s dinner of lemon chicken and savoury rice with the addition of omelette topping with which Jackie drank Valle Central reserva privada rosΓ©e cuvΓ©e 2019 and I drank Trivento reserve Malbec 2019 – a present from Helen and Bill.


  1. There’s nothing I like more than a straightforward and honest review. I’ve never associated the words ‘Dickens’ and ‘potboiler’ before, but there we are.

    1. Thank you so much for this link, JoAnna. The film makers have taken the essence of this story, reordered it, omitted confusing detail and characters, and made good sense of it.

  2. Mr. Keeping was an amazing illustrator! The faces, expressions, details, the motion… πŸ™‚
    HUGS!!! πŸ™‚
    PS…any more leftover lemon chicken? If so, pass it my way! πŸ˜‰

  3. So the illustrations are better than the book? There must be quite a few books like that. I’ll start you off with Dante’s Divine Comedy illustrated by Gustav DorΓ©!

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