(e)Books Read! The Battle of Life & The Seven Poor Travellers

Charles Dickens, The Battle of Life (1846).

First sentence: “Once upon a time, it matters little when, and in stalwart England, it matters little where, a fierce battle was fought.”

Last sentence: “I hardly know what weight to give to his authority.”

I wanted to stay a little bit longer in the Christmas atmosphere, so I looked in my (extensive) e-book list to see if Dickens had some more stories set in this period of time.  And of course he did.  There were mentioned 5 so-called Christmas novels (A Christmas Carol,  The ChimesThe Cricket on the Hearth , The Battle of Life and The Haunted Man and the Ghost’s Bargain) among his works and some short stories.  So I choose The Battle of Life, a short novella (78 pages) about  the love between  two sisters, Grace and Marion, and the sacrifice that ones brings for the other.  But why this story is called a Christmas book… I wouldn’t know.  The books begins on a warm summer day, twice the story enfolds in autumn and there is only one scene that takes place on a cold snowy winter night.

All in all, a heart-warming but rather simple read, but it didn’t quench my thirst for Christmas stories.

This was the 20th book I read for the 2011 E-Book Challenge!

Charles Dickens, The Seven Poor Travellers (1854).

First sentence: “Strictly speaking, there were only six Poor Travellers; but being a Traveller myself, though an idle one, and being withal as poor as  hope to be, I brought the number up to seven.

Last sentence: “And there I told of worthy Master Richard Watts, and of my supper with the Six Poor Travellers who were neither Rogues nor Proctors, and from that hour to this I have never seen one of them again.”

This short story tells the tale that entertains six travellers after finishing Christmas dinner.  Here again the story that is told, has nothing to do with Christmas, but luckily it is told on Christmas Eve.

This was the 21st book I read in the 2011 E-Book Challenge!


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