|Title:||The Holly-Tree. [Christmas Stories, 1894 Edition]|
|Publisher:||Chapman and Hall|
|Tags:||Christmas, short story|
|Description:||A shy young man who believes he is spurned by his beloved decides to flee to America, but during a preliminary journey becomes snowbound on Christmas Eve in the remote Holly-Tree Inn. He is the lone guest, and he soon finds he is bored to death. To distract himself he looks about, reads a meager collection of books, reconstructs his extensive experience of inns, but finally finds that he has nothing left to do. At this juncture, despite his shyness, he decides to occupy himself by talking to members of the staff and writing down what they have to say (see note to "The Guest"). In this manner he whiles away the days and records five stories.
Note this version is from the 1894 edition of Christmas Stories, and has the parts of the story written by authors other than Charles Dickens removed. The original was the Christmas edition of the periodical Household Words, published December 25, 1855. [Suggest a different description.]
|Comments:||Note abbreviated edition from Christmas Stories; full version including other authors under development.|
Author Bio for Dickens, Charles
Charles John Huffam Dickens was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world's best-known fictional characters and is regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era. His works enjoyed unprecedented popularity during his lifetime, and by the twentieth century critics and scholars had recognised him as a literary genius. His novels and short stories enjoy lasting popularity.
Born in Portsmouth, Dickens left school to work in a factory when his father was incarcerated in a debtors' prison. Despite his lack of formal education, he edited a weekly journal for 20 years, wrote 15 novels, five novellas, hundreds of short stories and non-fiction articles, lectured and performed extensively, was an indefatigable letter writer, and campaigned vigorously for children's rights, education, and other social reforms.
Dickens's literary success began with the 1836 serial publication of The Pickwick Papers. Within a few years he had become an international literary celebrity, famous for his humour, satire, and keen observation of character and society. His novels, most published in monthly or weekly instalments, pioneered the serial publication of narrative fiction, which became the dominant Victorian mode for novel publication. The instalment format allowed Dickens to evaluate his audience's reaction, and he often modified his plot and character development based on such feedback. For example, when his wife's chiropodist expressed distress at the way Miss Mowcher in David Copperfield seemed to reflect her disabilities, Dickens improved the character with positive features. His plots were carefully constructed, and he often wove elements from topical events into his narratives. Masses of the illiterate poor chipped in ha'pennies to have each new monthly episode read to them, opening up and inspiring a new class of readers.
Dickens was regarded as the literary colossus of his age. His 1843 novella, A Christmas Carol, remains popular and continues to inspire adaptations in every artistic genre. Oliver Twist and Great Expectations are also frequently adapted, and, like many of his novels, evoke images of early Victorian London. His 1859 novel, A Tale of Two Cities, set in London and Paris, is his best-known work of historical fiction. Dickens's creative genius has been praised by fellow writers—from Leo Tolstoy to George Orwell and G. K. Chesterton—for its realism, comedy, prose style, unique characterisations, and social criticism. On the other hand Oscar Wilde, Henry James, and Virginia Woolf complained of a lack of psychological depth, loose writing, and a vein of saccharine sentimentalism. The term Dickensian is used to describe something that is reminiscent of Dickens and his writings, such as poor social conditions or comically repulsive characters.
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