Mugby Junction is another collection of short stories, the first four from Charles Dickens and the latter four written by Andrew Halliday, Charles Collins brother of Wilkie , Hesba Stretton and Amelia Edwards These were first published in All the Year Round in 1886 A similar collection to The Haunted House.In June 1865, some eighteen months before writing these stories, Dickens was involved in one of the earliest rail disasters, when due to maintenance work on the line his train was derailed at the express speed of twenty five miles per hour and most of the carriages ended up in the River Beult Whatever the resulting trauma of Dickens rail crash experience, I wasn t greatly taken with his first four storylines of Mugby Junction Sacrilegious it may be to give the thumbs down to C.D but I preferred The Engine Driver by Andrew Halliday, The Travelling Post Office by Hesba Stretton and The Engineer by Amelia Edwards.I m sure that the new technology of the railways brought awe and fascination to our Victorian forebears, and the branch lines of Mugby Junction bring oral history, nineteenth century travel writing and some supernatural ghost stories Unfortunately I found this collection about as appetising as a curly stale British Rail sandwich. 1 1 17 Read in this compilation A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Classics, and I just found out I ve been gypped I was all proud that I had managed to get this in before the end of the year, and I discover this is supposed to be eight chapters, but I have only the first four Those were written by Dickens himself, and the last four by other people Here I am, telling this person who wanted to know what I thought of these Dickens collaboration things that I m going to help her out with her research, and I m left with egg on my face because I have a book that sucks Well, they don t know who they re dealing with here The Gutenberg Project has all eight chapters, and I m going to print the last four, and read the bitch, and fulfill my promise, just try and stop meAnd it looks like some of the other stories I read for this project are also missing the contributions from the other collaborators And I m willing to bet that will be the case for all of them once I dig a little deeper into it AAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHIt took 19 hours, but I think we ve just made it to my first temper tantrum for the new year holding out this long might be a new record Progress, progressWell, enough of that Here s my thoughts on the first four chapters though I suspect she s interested in what I thought of the second half Oh well I ll get to it as soon as I can Responsible for the effort, not the outcome It s OK Yes, a lot of wasted time, but it ll still be OK Breathe in, breathe out And look eye always look eye, Daniel san.Moving on Ahem.Charles Dickens is weird But it s not a psycho, supernatural weird like Clive Barker or Stephen King, just weird Mugby Junction is broken up into four eight chapters grumble, mumble, arfin fartin, racka fracka poopy pants publishers The first concerns a sideways face in a window Turns out it s a woman who can t sit up for some reason which isn t spelled out, and who likes to look out the window most of the day The fact that he describes it as a sideways face in the window instead of just calling her an invalid is strange, but I loved it anyway That s one of the things about Dickens that makes him great his ability to take something otherwise mundane and make it interesting.Our main character for the first two chapters is a gloomy Gus who meets sideways girl in the first part along with a man referred to as Lamps They help him to ungloomify himself Then in the second chapter he goes out of town and runs headfirst into the US Ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia, and remaining dolorous after that is just impossible You ve got to S M I L E to be H A double P Y Well, that takes care of that He decides to live in Mugby Junction so he can woo sideways face and be close enough to visit dimples Also, it s here that we get one of the super coincidences for which Dickens is so famous, but I m not going to spoil it I swear he coined the saw it s a small world Chapter three leaves the first story behind, and this is my favorite of the ones I ve read so far The style is akin to Mark Twain s in its snarkiness, and it is hilarious The first couple of pages left me wondering just what in the hell I was reading because I couldn t follow anything, but the second part brought it all together It s about a refreshment room at the junction which is so terrible that everybody hates it, but the staff is convinced that the way they do things is the correct way The boss visits refreshment rooms in France and comes back to report how poorly they do things by giving the customers what they want, accommodating the guests as best they can, serving edible food and potable beverages, and the staff is aghast I understand this chapter came about from an experience Dickens had in a refreshment room where he was snubbed, and the result is a pure delight to read.One thing I noticed is that Dickens can t write an American patois for shit even though he visited us once Or was that just in an episode of The Rifleman No, wait Dickens showed up in Bonanza It was Mark Twain in The Rifleman I need to brush up on my TV westerns Anyway, we get this line Another time, a merry wideawake American gent had tried the sawdust and spit it out, and had tried the Sherry and spit that out, and had tried in vain to sustain exhausted natur upon Butter Scotch, and had been rather extra Bandolined and Line surveyed through, when, as the bell was ringing and he paid Our Missis, he says, very loud and good tempered I tell Yew what tis, ma arm I la af Theer I la af I Dew I oughter ha seen most things, for I hail from the Onlimited side of the Atlantic Ocean, and I haive travelled right slick over the Limited, head on through Jee rusalemm and the East, and likeways France and Italy, Europe Old World, and am now upon the track to the Chief Europian Village but such an Institution as Yew, and Yewer young ladies, and Yewer fixin s solid and liquid, afore the glorious Tarnal I never did see yet And if I hain t found the eighth wonder of monarchical Creation, in finding Yew, and Yewer young ladies, and Yewer fixin s solid and liquid, all as aforesaid, established in a country where the people air not absolute Loo naticks, I am Extra Double Darned with a Nip and Frizzle to the innermostest grit Wheerfur Theer I la af I Dew, ma arm I la af And so he went, stamping and shaking his sides, along the platform all the way to his own compartment You can see he gets close with a couple of things, but totally blows it with the others But let s not be too harsh writing phonetic vernacular is tough and I imagine it s even tougher if you re a Brit shooting for a southern US flavor.Chapter four was pretty cool as well, though it was unexpected It s a ghost story, and telling those at Christmastime was a popular activity during Dickens day and age This came close to being my favorite part, but I still leave that honor with chapter three for now Who knows what the other chapters hold Most importantly though is the following quote from this chapter It was not to be denied, I rejoined, that this was a remarkable coincidence, calculated deeply to impress his mind But, it was unquestionable that remarkable coincidences did continually occur Suddenly so much of Dickens bibliography becomes clear I ll revisit this if I ever read the last four chapters. I should read short stories. 4,5 stars Got this off Gutenberg for the famous ghost story The Signalman, which is good but perhaps undeserving of its exalted status The rest is very meh Dickens opens well until the story hinges on a ridiculous coincidence The remainder of the stories are forgettable, although the mystery of the man and the shaving mirror is engaging I believe this was written as commercial magazine filler and it shows. Dr Who Encyclopedia 2011 says Dr Who s favorite short story is The Signalman by Charles Dickens, the fourth found in 1898 Mugby Junction at gutenberg.org, 8 chapters, first four by Dickens I call it fantasy for the three ghosts, mostly sentimental.1 Barbox Brothers is the company name, enscribed on two suitcases, that despondent young Jackson takes on Grown so bitter after his girl and best friend elope together, fearing his next birthday, he folds the business and hits the rails to Mugby Junction There he meets pretty teacher Phoebe confined to bed, and decides to stay.2 Barbox Brothers Co He presents Phoebe with a musical instrument from down the line She bids him explore that direction Cute toddler Polly tugs his arm I m lost , bid by her mother, his former love Beatrice, whose husband Tresham is dying Spoiler Now happy, he returns to marry Phoebe and care for Polly 3 Main Line The Boy at Mugby Narrator serves atrocious snacks in typical British Refreshment Room Manager Mrs Sniff returns from tour of lavish French railway service to lecture on vast awfulness of luxury her husband Ezekiel, oft berated for attempts to help public, disappears Of course to France 4 No.1 Branch Line The Signalman knows not how to warn of danger, after ghost already twice foretold death Narrator offers to take him to doctor Spoiler Victim who dies is signalman himself 5 No.2 Branch Line The Engine Driver by Andrew Halliday The complete how to daily grind of professional and home life.6 No.3 Branch Line The Compensation House by Charles Collins Resident refuses any mirrors inside because reflection is of face he wronged.7 No.4 Branch Line The Travelling Post Office by Hesba Stretton Narrator loses important political red box of papers to pretty girl pretending to be daughter of postmaster on line Spoiler After marrying real daughter, years later, meets impersonator, really daughter of politician involved who forbade marriage, for funds 8 No.5 Branch Line The Engineeer by Amelia B Edwards Narrator Ben best friends with Matt until moved to Italy and broken up by faithless beauty who deserted them to be rich mistress Matt s health failed after knifed by Ben guilty pal retired to care for dying victim Spoiler Years later, Matt s ghost stops Ben from revenge, killing Gianetta and her Duke, now husband, by driving runaway train. Charles Dickens, Collected His Celebrated Ghost Story, The Signalman, And Short Tales By Charles Collins, Hesbah Stretton, Andrew Halliday, And Amelia Edwards Arriving At Mugby Junction To Escape His Unhappy Past, Barbox Brothers , So Named For His Luggage Enscription, Befriends A Workman And His Invalid Daughter, And Explores The Seven Lines Of The Junction He Meets The Woman He Lost, Only To Return And Collect The Other Tales I had never really read many short stories until Mugby read Rugby junction The character development is sublime in so few pages It has to be said that while you don t have to be one to enjoy these three stories, being a rail enthusiast really helped my understanding of the functions of the characters and reading about them from the time itself was very interesting. Began very similar in style to The Signalman , hugely entertaining and fun, but, oh boy did this deteriorate very quickly By the last chapter, I really thought and figured, what was the point of it Overall, very disappointing. Mugby Junction is about a young man who is fleeing his birthday for reasons not enumerated As expected, he meets some people and forges a relationship with them Basically, he is learning how to be a better member of society I was disappointed that this tale did not have the usual development of characters that I am accustomed to seeing in Dickens With the exception of the sketch tacked on the end, there is not much of Dickens usual hyperbole and sarcasm I felt the ending was a little too neat.
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.On 8 June 1870, Dickens suffered another stroke at his home after a full day s work on Edwin Drood. He never regained consciousness, and the next day he died at Gad s Hill Place Contrary to his wish to be buried at Rochester Cathedral in an inexpensive, unostentatious, and strictly private manner, he was laid to rest in the Poets Corner of Westminster Abbey A printed epitaph circulated at the time of the funeral reads To the Memory of Charles Dickens England s most popular author who died at his residence, Higham, near Rochester, Kent, 9 June 1870, aged 58 years He was a sympathiser with the poor, the suffering, and the oppressed and by his death, one of England s greatest writers is lost to the world His last words were On the ground , in response to his sister in law Georgina s request that he lie down from Wikipedia
- 144 pages
- Mugby Junction
- Charles Dickens
- 26 June 2019 Charles Dickens