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Stories from Dickens

252 pages4 hours


The title of this book rings in the ear with a pleasant sound. "Stories from Dickens"! "Stories" alone usually suggests such delightful rambles in the land of dreams! And when it is coupled with the name of a king of story-tellers by divine right, the charm is increased a hundredfold.

These stories are—as the title indicates—taken directly from Dickens, very largely in his own language, and always faithful to his spirit. They are the stories of his most famous boys and girls, merely separated from the big books and crowded scenes where they first appeared. In stage talk, the "lime-light" has been turned upon them alone. Their early joys and sorrows are shown, but always with more of the smiles than the tears. There is sadness enough in real life without emphasizing it in books for young people, and so only two of the numerous deathbed scenes found in Dickens are given place here.

The book is not intended as a substitute, however small, for the complete texts; but is offered in the reverent hope that it will serve as both introduction and incentive to the bulky volumes which so often alarm young people by their very size. The compiler has in mind one child of the "long ago" who looked with awe upon a stately row of fat books kept for show, like mummies in a high glass case, and labelled "Dickens." This child never suspected that the books were intended for reading—at any rate, not by children; so he contented himself for the time with trashy little books with highly colored pictures "intended for children." What a world of delight would have been opened to him if some one had placed in his hands the story of Oliver Twist; or the first part of Nicholas Nickleby relating to Dotheboy's Hall; or the early history of David Copperfield (he might have demanded all of that story!); or some of the inimitable Christmas tales! Afterwards he would have read on and on for himself.

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