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The Cricket on the Hearth

The Cricket on the Hearth

The Cricket on the Hearth. A Fairy Tale of Home is a novella by Charles Dickens.

John Peerybingle, a carrier, lives with his young wife Dot, their baby boy and their nanny Tilly Slowboy. A cricket constantly chirps on the hearth and acts as a guardian angel to the family. One day a mysterious elderly stranger comes to visit and takes up lodging at Peerybingle's house for a few days.

The life of the Peerybingles intersects with that of Caleb Plummer, a poor toymaker employed by the miser Mr. Tackleton. Caleb has a blind daughter Bertha, and a son Edward, who traveled to South America and was thought dead.

The miser Tackleton is now on the eve of marrying Edward's sweetheart, May, but she does not love Tackleton. Tackleton reveals to John Peerybingle that his wife Dot has allegedly cheated on him and shows him a clandestine scene where Dot embraces the mysterious lodger who is in disguise, a man much younger than he actually seems. John is cut to the heart over this as he loves his wife dearly, but decides after some deliberations to relieve his wife of their marriage contract.

In the end, the mysterious lodger is revealed to be none other than Edward who has returned home in disguise. Dot shows that she indeed has been faithful to John. Edward marries May hours before she is scheduled to marry Tackleton. However Tackleton's heart is melted by the Christmas season, like Ebenezer Scrooge, and he surrenders May to her true love.

Author:Charles Dickens

Tag:Charles DickensBritish

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