Christmas audiobook release
Here’s my little Christmas present to my listeners: Dickens’ second Christmas book, published the year after A Christmas Carol, and a year before The Cricket on the Hearth, but mostly, and unjustifiably, forgotten.
It is called The Chimes, and it is my one-woman mission to make Toby Veck (Trotty) as well-known as Bob Cratchit. The Chimes are the church bells, in which Toby, a poor ticket-porter, believes he hears messages, and they play a major part in the story.
It has, like all Dickens’ Christmas books, a strong moral message, and reminds us what absolute poverty is really like. Dickens was a champion of the poor decades before Charles Booth’s survey in the 1890s, when poverty was still widely seen as the fault of the individual.
Make sure you have a hankie, unless you have a heart of stone.