Complete Ghost Stories
Interest in supernatural phenomena was high during Charles Dickens’ lifetime. He had always loved a good ghost story himself, particularly at Christmas time, and was open-minded, willing to accept, and indeed put to the test, the existence of spirits.
His natural inclinations toward drama and the macabre made him a brilliant teller of ghost tales, and in the twenty stories presented here, which include his celebrated A Christmas Carol, the full range of his gothic talents can be seen.
Chilling as some of these stories are, Dickens has managed to inject characteristically grotesque comedy as he writes of revenge, insanity, pre-cognition and dream visions, he indulges also in some debunking of contemporary credulity.
Charles Dickens was born in 1812 near Portsmouth where his father was a clerk in the navy pay office. The family moved to London in 1823, but their fortunes were severely impaired. Dickens was sent to work in a blacking-warehouse when his father was imprisoned for debt. Both experiences deeply affected the future novelist. In 1833 he began contributing stories to newspapers and magazines, and in 1836 started the serial publication of Pickwick Papers. Thereafter, Dickens published his major novels over the course of the next twenty years, from Nicholas Nickleby to Little Dorrit. He also edited the journals Household Words and All the Year Round. Dickens died in June 1870.
Throughout his career, Charles Dickens often turned his hand to fashioning short pieces of ghostly fiction, and began the tradition of 'the ghost story at Christmas'. Many of his supernatural tales are presented here, including the brilliant novella 'The Haunted Man and the Ghost's Bargain', which deserves to be as well-known as A Christmas Carol. While all aim to send a shiver down the spine, they are not without the usual traits of Dickens' flamboyant style: his subtle wit, biting irony, humorous incidents and moral observations.
This Macmillan Collector's Library edition brings together all Dickens' ghost stories - twenty in all - including several longer tales, illustrated by various artists, with an afterword by David Stuart Davies.
Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2 x 19.6 cm