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Master Humphrey's Clock is a series of short stories loosely linked by a common narrative frame, written shortly after The Pickwick Papers and eventually giving.
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A collection of stories from a fictitious club of writers, including the hilarious Mr. Pickwick, who share various anecdotes and short stories amongst the members of the club. These lead into the serialized novels of "Ye Olde Curiosity Shop" and "Barnaby Rudge", serving as an introduction for fictional narrators of those stories. Some of the anecdotes are creepy and ghostly, some are funny, some are historical. Some have tragic romance, or supernatural witches.


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Some are just lively ta A collection of stories from a fictitious club of writers, including the hilarious Mr. Some are just lively tales of everyday life. They are all certainly interesting and varied, but so disconnected and strangely unfinished that I couldn't really enjoy them. Most of them don't have satisfactory endings, and I like a story to have a point to it. Why go through all that set-up and adventure and emotional drama if there's no reason, no point, no ending to the whole thing?

Master Humphrey’s Clock in original parts - ZSR Library

I'm not particularly impressed with the stories, although the writing is good. Chesterton's review says it all about Master Humphrey's Clock: "As a triumph of Dickens, at least, it is not of great importance. But as a sample of Dickens it happens to be of quite remarkable importance. The very fact that it is somewhat more level and even monotonous than most of his creations makes us realise, as it were, against what level and monotony those creations commonly stand out.

It starts out in the style of 1, Nights with stories within stories, which works reasonably well. As a result, reading Master Humphrey today which omits these two novels becomes increasingly too much frame relative to the stories.

Master Humphrey's Clock by Charles Dickens

Master Humphrey's Clock is also the only Dickens work where characters reappear from other works -- specifically Pickwick and some of his friends. The reappearance is much flatter than the original and might explain why Dickens did not go the route of Balzac in populating his novels with overlapping characters and incidents. Mar 22, Leslie Crawley rated it it was amazing. An absolute delight. View 1 comment.

Anthropomorphized objects I loved that dickens have sentimental objects life and their own personalities through the character of master Humphrey. Dec 31, Jennifer Royan rated it really liked it. Still an enjoyable selection before it is overcome by Nell and Dick. If you are able to get your hands on a copy of this lesser-known tale by Charles Dickens, I would urge you to. It's a short story made up of short stories, quite Don Quixote-ish in that respect, which when it was published originally included part of Dickens' better-known novels "The Old Curiosity Shop" which then became a novel in its own right and "Barnaby Rudge".

Master Humphrey is a lonely, crippled elderly man who lives alone. After having bought a so-called "haunted house" a If you are able to get your hands on a copy of this lesser-known tale by Charles Dickens, I would urge you to. After having bought a so-called "haunted house" and having had rumours about his "strangeness" spread about him by his neighbours, he eventually gets accepted into the area, and starts "collecting" friends, with whom to converse or share stories with.

His best "friend" is his clock which recalls to him memories of his childhood. The friends he makes are diverse - the "deaf man" we never know his name who provided entertainment with his story about the talking giants in the theatre, that related the tragic story of Hugh Graham.

1840 CHARLES DICKENS *1ST ED MASTER HUMPHREYS CLOCK CURIOSITY SHOP PICKWICK

Master Humphrey also makes friends with Jack Redburn a general entertainer and Mr Owen Miles, a retired rich merchant. The four of them meet between 10pm and 2am every week at Master Humphrey's house, round the table - at the top of which sits the clock. They then decide to call their group "Master Humphrey's Clock". The articles for the evening's entertainment are kept in the clock case, and are brought out every meeting for discussion or reading aloud.

These include tales of child murder and a comic one about witch-hunting. There are still two vacant chairs at this table, and during the course of the story we find that Mr Pickwick he of The Pickwick Papers occupies one, and he recommends that a Mr Bamber occupies the last one. They call round to visit Master Humphreys when Pickwick is there at his "Clock" meeting.

The Wellers are beholden to stay downstairs during the meeting, where the housemaid and the barber entertain them. They decide to set up their own group, calling it "Mr Weller's Watch". The stories they relate within their quartet are of the comic variety. The story ends from the pen of the "deaf man", and it is particularly poignant. It's a nice short little read, not hard to follow as some as Dickens' stories can be. A little gem amongst Dickens' less famous works.

Jul 11, Lee Razer rated it liked it. In April of Dickens began his own weekly periodical, Master Humphrey's Clock, using the set-up of a small circle of elderly gentlemen gathering around the grandfather clock at Humphrey's house once a week to share tales. The first such tale concerns the statues at London's Guildhall of the giants Gog and Magog, fabled protectors of London, coming alive at night to swap tales themselves to pass the time.

Fairly amusing, I thought. Though this section is titled "First Night of the Giant Chron In April of Dickens began his own weekly periodical, Master Humphrey's Clock, using the set-up of a small circle of elderly gentlemen gathering around the grandfather clock at Humphrey's house once a week to share tales. Though this section is titled "First Night of the Giant Chronicles", Dickens never returned to the theme. Other parts include Master Humphrey describing his life and how he gathered together his small circle, which includes some quality pathos; the centuries-old confession of a child murderer, middling; some correspondence received, briefly; the secret burial of an executed rebel, also middling; and the re-introduction from The Pickwick Papers fame of Mr.

Pickwick, Sam Weller, and Mr. Weller, in which the Wellers create their own "downstairs" version of the storytelling society, in my opinion not successfully - they do not recapture their magic in this new setting and the whole attempt seems rather embarrassing. Dickens seems to have thought all this not worth pursuing very far, as the serial first morphs into weekly installments of The Old Curiosity Shop , with interruptions of other material quickly fading, and then into Barnaby Rudge , with no interruptions at all.

The whole conceit was then quickly wrapped up at the conclusion of Barnaby Rudge in November , the pressure of a weekly serialization schedule cancelled, and Dickens went off to visit America and take a rest from publishing. In , Charles Dickens began to publish his own weekly paper in which he showcased his ongoing work to the public under the tightest of deadlines. He managed to pull this off for 80 consecutive weeks before he called it of, admitting that it was compromising the quality of his writing.

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Master Humphrey's Clock was a venerable timepiece, a gentleman's society, and a publication dedicated to their 'histories and proceedings, our quiet speculations or more busy adventures'. Master Humph In , Charles Dickens began to publish his own weekly paper in which he showcased his ongoing work to the public under the tightest of deadlines. Master Humphrey himself is an aged cripple, his closest friend and fellow original member of the club is a similarly decrepit dead man.


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Perfect characters for Dicken's peculiar blend of the sorrowful and the sentimental. That said, strip away the two novels that came to pad out the bulk of the content, Barnaby Rudge and The Old Curiosity Shop , you find yourself left with a porridge thin enough for even Oliver Twist to forego any request for a further helping. As such it's a bitty amalgam of bookended stories, correspondence and insights into the society members, only really enlivened when Mr Pickwick joins, bringing Mr Weller and son with him, who briefly establish their own, rival club.


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  6. Nothing here is prime Dickens, but it's still as snuggly as a Victorian fireside. This was just a group of strange little stories that I imagine weren't that popular when they first came out. Master Humphrey's Clock is the name of a literary circle of characters that get together at Master Humphrey's house, wind up his clock, and then read stories they keep in the clock's case.

    What's stupid is that when one of the group's member dies, they stop the clock and en This was just a group of strange little stories that I imagine weren't that popular when they first came out. What's stupid is that when one of the group's member dies, they stop the clock and end their gatherings. I guess Dickens needed an excuse to move on to other projects. This collection also reveals Dickens' inability to write a consistent German accent. At least that's what I assume Mr. Weller's accent to be.

    It may be an anti-Semite thing too for all I know. Even if you looooove Dickens, don't bother. Dec 31, Samuel Lubell rated it it was ok Shelves: classics. This was more of a framing device for a magazine of stories and novels than anything else.