Charles Dickens was an English writer and social critic. This volume showcases two collections of little-known sketches by Dickens. Whimsical, satirical, witty and exuberant, the sketches ridicule the behavior of their subjects with perfect comic effect, offering fascinating evidence of a writer learning his craft and refining his style.
The Chimes is Charles Dickens novella that concerns the disillusionment of Toby "Trotty" Veck, a poor working-class man. Trotty has lost his faith in Humanity and believes that his poverty is the result of his unworthiness he is visited on New Year's Eve by spirits to help restore his faith and show him that nobody is born evil, but rather that crime and poverty are things created by man.
Edwin Drood is contracted to marry orphan Rosa Bud when he comes of age, but when they find that duty has gradually replaced affection, they agree to break off the engagement. Shortly afterwards, in the middle of a storm on Christmas Eve, Edwin disappears, leaving nothing behind but some personal belongings and the suspicion that his jealous uncle John Jasper, madly in love with Rosa, is the killer. And beyond this presumed crime there are further intrigues, for example, the sinister double life of Choirmaster Jasper, whose drug-fuelled fantasy life belies his respectable appearance. Dickens died before completing The Mystery of Edwin Drood, leaving its tantalising mysteryunsolved and encouraging successive generations of readers to turn detective.
Barnaby Rudge is a story of mystery and suspense which begins with an unsolved double murder. Through the course of the novel fathers and sons become opposed, apprentices plot against their masters and Protestants clash with Catholics on the streets. And, as London erupts into riot, Barnaby himself struggles to escape the curse of his own past. With its dramatic descriptions of public violence and private horror, its strange secrets and ghostly doublings, Barnaby Rudge is a powerful, disturbing blend of historical realism and Gothic melodrama.