The Chimes is the second of five "Christmas books" which Dickens would publish in the 1840s, although the action of the story actually happens on New Year's Eve. As with A Christmas Carol, The Chimes focuses on a man's encounters with supernatural beings (in this case the spirits of the bells in a church tower) which help him regain his faith in human nature. Unlike the rich miser Scrooge, The Chimes' protagonist is a poor porter named Toby Veck, who is on the receiving end of upper class condescension and wonders if the poor have any right to live at all. Ultimately the book, like all of Dickens's other Christmas books, declares a strong moral message of the importance of charity and brotherhood and the need to recognize and improve conditions for the poor. It ends with a clear call:"So may each Year be happier than the last, and not the meanest of our brethren or sisterhood debarred their rightful share, in what our Great Creator formed them to enjoy."
The Adelphi. Chimes: a goblin story[London, 1844] EL3 f.D548 Ephemera #55
The Rosen-blog will be taking take a week off because of the holidays, but we'll be back in the new year. If you are planning to visit the Rosenbach over the holiday week, please note that we will be closed 12/24-12/25 and again 12/31-1/1. But do feel free to come on in the rest of the time--maybe bring those out of town relatives?