Tag: Charles Dickens

5 Ghost Stories to Read on Christmas Eve

Though we might not readily associate ghost stories with Christmas Eve and winter celebrations, it was actually a very common practice to tell scary tales during the 19th century and even earlier on than that. For a number of reasons, some of which can be cited back to Puritan ancestry, this story telling tradition fell out of practice in America.

I, however, am a horror story buff, and I will look for any excuse to spin a scary yarn with friends and family.

 

Here are five ghost stories to read on Christmas Eve.

 

 

1. A Christmas Carol

 

image via Amazon

 

This is most definitely the longest ghost story on the list, but it definitely fits with the season. Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol is a culturally significant tale that has countless adaptations credited to it. This narrative follows Ebenezer Scrooge, an embittered old man who doesn’t just hate Christmas, but he just hates people in general. Yet out of everyone, he despises individuals who would dare to ask him for his time or, even worse, his money. He intends to spend Christmas Eve alone, as he does every year, but his plans are uprooted when the ghost of his former business partner comes to him and says that three more phantoms will be visiting him that night. Scrooge is forced to confront the ghosts of his past, and he is urged to change his ways. If he doesn’t, his actions won’t only result in ruining his life, it will also harm those directly impacted by his decisions.

 

 

2. The Turn of The screw

 

image via goodreads

 

Henry James‘s novella, The Turn of The Screw is an eerie tale that spans roughly seventy pages. The story begins with the narrator and his friends telling each other ghost stories one Christmas Eve, and the narrator claims that he is in possession of a one hundred percent real account of a haunting. What follows is the story of a governess who is hired to teach and care for two children. While her employment begins without incident, the governess soon begins to see strange, ghostly figures from a distance. She soon learns that these phantoms have sinister plans for the children, and she must do everything in her power to protect her two pupils.

 

3. The Kit Bag

 

image via literawiki

 

Written by Algernon Blackwood, The Kit Bag is a short story that follows Johnson, a lawyer’s secretary. Johnson is set to go on Christmas vacation after his boss wrapped up a case where he defended a man convicted of murder. He borrows a kit bag from his boss, but there is something very, very wrong with it. Johnson begins seeing images and hearing voices near the bag. This story is suspenseful and frightening, and it is definitely an excellent ghost story to read this winter.

 

 

4. The Canterville ghost

 

image via Alma books

 

This one is most definitely a breath of fresh air after the last two stories on this list. Oscar Wilde‘s The Canterville Ghost is a comedic story that plays with the tropes found in English ghost stories. This narrative follows an American family who moves to England and takes up residence in a haunted house. Try as the ghost may to frighten these new tenets, his efforts are in vain—the family just isn’t scared of rattling chains and random bloodstains. Unlike the previous two entries on this list, this story also has a happy ending. *Spoiler Alert*: This story begins as a playful ribbing of English ghost stories and ends with redemption for the ghost.

 

 

5. Oh, whistle, and i’ll come to you, my lad

 

image via pinterest

 

So many of the images for M.R. James‘s short story Oh, Whistle and I’ll Come to You, My Lad, are terrifying. This one is pretty tame by comparison to a few that I found. Professor Parkins, the story’s main character, goes on a golfing vacation. While on vacation, he comes across some old ruins and, and in these ruins, he finds a small whistle. Almost immediately after finding this item, Parkins begins to see a figure, have visions, and experience an oppressive energy. This all culminates in the final chilling encounter, where the figure that Parkins has been seeing in the distance appears in his bedroom.

 

Featured Image Via Den of Geek

 

 


Bookstr is community supported. If you enjoy Bookstr’s articles, quizzes, graphics and videos, please join our Patreon to support our writers and creators or donate to our Paypal and help Bookstr to keep supporting the book loving community.
Become a Patron!




‘A Christmas Carol’ Is Now on Broadway!

Following a trend of Christmas themed ventures arriving on Broadway for the end of the year festivities, a new version of the Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol, opened on Broadway at the Lyceum Theater on November 20 and will run through January 5, 2020.

 

 

The constant reproductions of this timeless tale might appear stale at this point, but with such a treasured story, it can’t hurt to take another shot at the bah humbug star we all love to hate. Traditions like this one hold the holiday season dear and promise stability and ritual in such a confusing and stressful time of year.

 

Image result for a christmas carol broadway

Image via Broadway Direct

 

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child playwright, Jack Thorne leads the production after a run in London at the Old Vic Theatre. A star studded cast promises a magical experience. Campbell Scott will play Ebenezer Scrooge, two-time Tony Winner Andrea Martin is the ghost of Christmas past and Tony-winner LaChanze is the ghost of Christmas Present.

 

 

The new re-imagining also includes twelve Christmas carols to satisfy the musical aspect of the adaptation and spread more Christmas cheer throughout the two-hour show.

 

Image result for a christmas carol broadway

Image via Time Out

 

The Daily Beast calls A Christmas Carol, “the gift we need right now.” With our current political climate, it may be a good idea to escape inside the magical world of Dickens for at least one night, but it won’t be cheap. Festive Broadway shows are a great way to celebrate the season in a theatrical way, but it’ll definitely cost you. For best availability and prices, buy tickets in advance and soak in the holiday spirit as best as you can to distract from the annoyances of daily life.

 

Featured Image via Playbill 

 


Bookstr is community supported. If you enjoy Bookstr’s articles, quizzes, graphics and videos, please join our Patreon to support our writers and creators or donate to our Paypal and help Bookstr to keep supporting the book loving community.
Become a Patron!




12 Steamy Literary Couples That Should Totally Happen

Once upon a time, we reported that Draco Malfoy himself, Tom Felton, had attended the opening at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando and joined AOL’s In The Know for a game of ‘Fact or Fanfiction?’ and, in the standout moment from the Q and A, Tom Felton was asked: What did he think of Draco’s relationship to Harry Potter?

 

Hmmm?

Image Via Redbubble

 

Now anyone with even a passing glance to the franchise would see Draco and Harry a simple rivalry, a tale for the ages, but Tom Felton said, I’m quoting AOL here, “Harry was constantly crushing on Draco…He just couldn’t hide it.”

Let’s look at the facts:

  1. Draco and Harry do definitely have some tension going on.
  2. (Image Below)

 

Draco vs Harry

Image Via Youtube

 

Case closed!

With this in mind we’ve decided to give you, dear readers, twelve literary couples that happened in an alternative universe. Taking twenty-four characters from all across literature, from different book series to classic standalone novels (copyright be damned!), we’ve compiled these characters into eleven distinct (and surely steamy) relationships that would have totally worked out…for the characters, at least. Trust us, we’re chemists here.

 

 

12-Bella and Count Dracula

 

Bella

Image Via Twilight Saga Wiki – Fandom

 

No more sparkling vampires, now Twilight‘s Bella Swan is getting an upgrade. Let’s face it: There’s a reason Bram Stoker called this novel Dracula and not Harker. Dracula’s got style, he’s got nice clothes, he’s not charm oozing from everyone pore.

 

Gary Oldman as Dracula Count

Image Via Pinterest

 

Heck, if Bella says “No, I’m married” then I’m asking Dracula out to get a nice love bite.

 

11-Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes

 

Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes

Image Via Pinterest

 

Far before Twitter decided to give us the #givecaptainamericaaboyfriend fan campaign, we had the comic books. See Bucky died, Steve Rogers became a Commie smasher, and then the Commie smasher was retconned, and then the real Steve Rogers was thawed out from the ice.

 

Steve Rogers thoughts about Bucky Barnes

Image Via The Mary Sue

 

But Bucky remained dead, and Steve was inconsolable in his grief over his best friend and partner in crime throughout the decades of Captain America comics. In fact, it was one of the most foremost elements of his character

Fans looked at this and took the small hop and believed that Steve’s profound sense of loss than met the eye

The only people who stay dead in comics are Bucky, Jason Todd, and Uncle Ben.

So Bucky came back. In fact, he came back as the Winter Soldier in a comic book called The Winter Soldier, and ever since then we’ve been clamoring for Steve and Bucky to get a little closer.

They’re perfect for each other. The two buddies have been with each other since the beginning and will continue to stay together “until the end of the line”. They’re both “men out of time” from 1930s Brooklyn and are war buddies with great rapport who totally get along. They have so much in common.

At least go on a date and see if there’s anything there.

 

Even when I had nothing, I had Bucky.

 

10-Ahab and Captain Hook

 

Jason Isaacs as Captain Hook

Image Via Express.co.uk

 

We have Peter Pan‘s Captain Hook, and this man has been through a lot. Yes, he’s trying to track down and kill Peter Pan like he’s an animal, but Peter Pan is an animal! This boy cut off his hand and fed it to a crocodile. Wicked, evil, and savage beyond belief.

 

Captain Ahab

Gregory ‘The Man with the Pecks’ Peck as Captain Ahab / Image Via The Guardian

 

Then we have Moby Dick‘s Captain Ahab who, like James Hook, wants to track down an animal whose savaged ships of all sorts.

But would they be searching for these monsters if they had, you know, found each other? Could their killer eyes turn into ones of passion and love if they only looked into each other’s eyes?

We here at Bookstr call out in a resounding, ‘YES!’

 

9-Boo Radley and Miss Havisham

 

Miss Havisham

Image Via Telegraph

 

Charles Dickens’ gave us Great Expectations, which us the tragic story of Miss. Havisham. Left at the altar as a young lady, she has preserved her house as it was on her wedding day and lived there ever since, shut away from the world. She has a heart of gold, but no one has treated it well.

 

Boo Radley

Look at those sultry eyes/Image Via Pinterest

 

Harper Lee gave us To Kill A Mocking Bird, which introduced the world to Boo Radley. Our Boo has lived in a house since he was a child, hidden from the world, but he has a heart of gold, giving young Scout a jacket on a cold autumn day.

If these two shut-ins have closed their doors to the world, would they open their doors for each other? Boo Radley most certainly wouldn’t leave Miss. Havisham at the altar, and Miss. Havisham wouldn’t let our precious Boo feel unwelcomed.

 

8-White Witch and Sauron

 

C S Lewis and J R R Tolkien

Image Via CNN

 

Now this pairing might not be great for the world at large, but they would be great for each other. Both live in fantasy world, the authors who created them were in real life great friends, and both crave ultimately power.

While both skilled in the powers of magic, it wouldn’t take magic to get these two working side by side.

 

White Witch

Image Via Denver Post

 

Imagine it: the White Witch would kill all the lions and the hero in the land, freezing them in ice just in time…

 

Sauron

Lord of the Rings Wiki – Fandom

 

…for Sauron to get to swinging his mace around

Talk about a power couple. The White Witch might even slip the One Ring of Power on Sauron’s little finger….

 

 

7-Pinocchio and Voldemort

 

Pinocchio

Image Via Entertainment.ie

 

Carlo Collodi’s Pinocchio grows every time he lies, and he’s made of wood, so lie a few times and cut off the excess, and Voldemort doesn’t have to be called He-Who-Must-Not-Have-A-Nose.

 

Voldemort

Image Via Harry Potter Wiki – Fandom

 

Yes, Voldemort is a racist and a tyrant who thirsts for power more than a camel thirsts for water, but Pinocchio isn’t the pinnacle of innocence. After all, there’s a reason he’s cursed to have his nose grows every time he lies.

Plus, if he and Voldemort got together, Pinocchio can use his nose for…

 

6-Ariel and Jaws

 

The Little Mermaid

Image Via The South African

 

Prince Eric isn’t a good fit for Hans Christie Andersen’s The Little Mermaid. He has legs, Ariel is half-fish, and if she gets together with him then she has to abandon her family. That’s a bad move, Ariel.

 

Jaws

Aw, he’s holding him / Image Via Pinterest

 

But if she wants to take a walk on the wild side and still remain in the ocean, she can always go with the shark from Peter Benchley’s Jaws. Call him what you will (I call him Bruce, but others have called him Jaws or Sharkie or even Craig), but he knows his way around the wide ocean and can show Ariel a whole new world under the sea.

Ah, they always say there’s plenty of fish in the sea, but at least these two fish found each other. Maybe that’ll be the new plot for the new Disney remake!

 

5-Mrs Robinson and Oedipus

 

Mrs. Robinson

Image Via CharacTour

 

Mrs. Robinson from Charles Webb’s 1963 novella The Graduate is trapped in a loveless marriage. She’s only married to her husband because she got pregnant and needed to avoid a scandal, and thus she hooks up with young Benjamin Braddock. But Benjamin is only into her because he’s bored. He doesn’t love her.

 

Image Via Study.com

 

Oedipus from the seminal play Oedipus Rex has a thing for older women. Yes, he didn’t know he was married to his mom, but she was still older than him. So maybe we can avoid the whole I-gotta-pluck-out-my-eyes thing and just have Oedipus meet up and see where things go with Mrs. Robinson. She’s old enough to be his mom, and that should be enough for dear old Ed.

 

4-Paul Bunyun and Jack Torrence

 

Paul Bunyan

Image Via NEA

 

Straight from American folklore is the biggest and the best lumberjack in the business: Paul Bunyan.

 

Jack Torrance

Handsome! / Image Via Salon

 

Straight from the mind of Stephen King is Jack Torrence. Now Mr. King was quite unhappy with the changes Stanley Kubrick made in his film adaptation, so we’ll have a chance to mend things here.

In the book Jack Torrence has a roque mallet, so maybe Paul can give him his iconic ax. Plus, since Paul’s ax might be a bit big for Jack, he can buy one here and, once Jack has his iconic ax, well…

 

Beautiful friendship

Image Via Giphy

Or maybe something more…

 

 

3-Katniss and The Chershire Cat

 

The Cheshire Cat

Image Via DeviantArt

 

This goes beyond the fact that ‘Katniss’ kind of, sort of, sounds like ‘cat’ and the Cheshire Cat is, well, a cat.

 

Katniss Everdeen

Image Via Scoopnest

 

For one, Katniss from Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games never really loved Peta. Two, Cheshire Cat from Lewis Caroll’s Alice in Wonderland knows his way around the block and would have helped her big time before, during, and after those pesky Hunger Games.

Plus, the Cheshire Cat is funny, and you know what they say….

 

what do you see in that guy?

Image Via Pinterest

 

 

2-Christine and Pennywise

 

Chirstine

Image Via Amreading

 

An evil car

 

Pennywise

Image Via OC Celebrity Marketing

 

..and an evil clown, what could be better? We already know Pennywise has a thing for cars…

 

Image Via Collider

 

So maybe it’s time for Christine to rev Pennywise’s engine.

 

1-The Grinch and Cat in the Hat

 

These two iconic characters from the Dr. Seuss universe are meant for each other.

 

The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat

Image Via Amazon

 

Their first meet up might not have gone well….

 

 

A Match Made in Heaven

Image Via DeviantArt

 

…but we all know it’s a much made in heaven.

 

 

 

Featured Image Via 9Gag

Image Via The Daily Beast

Lost Charles Dickens Portrait to Go on Display!

The infamous lost portrait of Charles Dickens, painted over the span of six sittings in 1843 when Dickens was starting his most infamous story of all time, A Christmas Carol, is set to go on display in his curated home in April. This event is part of an endeavor by the Charles Dickens museum to raise enough funds to purchase the painting.

The Guardian writes that “[a]fter its publication, the portrait was exhibited at the 1844 Royal Academy summer exhibition”, but in 1886, sixteen years after Dickens’ death in 1870, quotes Gilles as saying she had “lost sight of the portrait itself”.

“Have you seen this portrait?” was the question asked for a hundred-and-seventy-four years.

The lost portrait of Charles Dickens at the age of 31, painted by Margaret Gillies, was lost for 174 years.

Image Via CNN

Well, someone did.

Lifestyle reports that “the portrait was sold for £27 (about $36) in an auction of household goods in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, as part of a tray of trinkets. The finder originally bought it to sell the frame.”

Come early 2018, however, the buyers saw what they had. Even through the mold, they saw the same eyes that struck poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning and caused her to say, “the dust and mud of humanity about him, notwithstanding those eagle eyes.”

Just to be sure, they sent the piece to London to be authenticated.

Inside the Philip Mould & Company building

Image Via 4D Projects

Art dealer Philip Mould of Philip Mould & Company authenticated the piece and told CNN that, “It was electrifying when it first came into the gallery, even though it was obscured by mold”.

Portrait found, end of story. Well, it’s not that simple.

Charles Dickens at his desk, head in hand

Image Via PBS

The Charles Dickens Museum is looking to secure the portrait for its permanent collection, bringing it back to London to be put on permanent public display.

The portrait has a price tag: £180,000 ($238,921.56).

Asking the public for donations (link available here), the museum has so far raised £65,000 ($86,277.23).

With around 36% of funding raised, they’re getting there but it’s far from close. That’s actually why this display is happening. The museum has struck a deal, releasing a statement that says this stunning eagle-eyed miniature portrait “will be displayed from 2-7 April in the Study at 48 Doughty Street, the room in which Dickens wrote Oliver TwistNicholas Nickleby, completed The Pickwick Papers and began Barnaby Rudge.”

This attraction might hopefully give the museum a push, if not a full fledged blast, to the finish line. Either way, the Dicken’s miniature will be right back home above the desk where those magnificent and classic works of literature were constructed with the might pen itself.

A map of how to get to the Charles Dickens Museum by foot

Image Via Free Tours by Foot

I might just have to take a flight to Holborn, London.

 

Featured Image Via The Daily Beast

10 Charles Dickens Quotes to Brighten Your Bleakest Days

The guy’s work may have been a buzzkill to read while trying to enjoy high school, but he did indeed have some facts of life to spit. (It’s pretty cool that A Tale of Two Cities was the narrative foundation for The Dark Knight Rises). Yet even as the bleakest of writers, Charles Dickens believed you could find lighter moments in darker times. Here are some quotes from the literary icon… aside from “please, sir, I want some more.”

Happy Birthday, Mr. Dickens.

 

charles dickens

Image via The British Library

 

1. “The pain of parting is nothing to the joy of meeting again.”

 


 

2. “Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts.”

 


 

3. “There is nothing so strong or safe in an emergency of life as the simple truth.”

 


 

4. “We forge the chains we wear in life.”

 


 

5. “A loving heart is the truest wisdom.”

 


 

6. “We need never be ashamed of our tears.”

 


 

7. “A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other.”

 


 

8. “The men who learn endurance, are they who call the whole world, brother.”

 


 

9. “This is a world of action, and not for moping and droning in.”

 


 

10. “It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known.”

 

 

 

 

Featured Image via Art UK