Master Humphreys Clock (Annotated)

Master Humphreys Clock (Annotated) I Am Not A Churlish Old Man Friendless I Can Never Be, For All Mankind Are My Kindred, And I Am On Ill Terms With No One Member Of My Great Family But For Many Years I Have Led A Lonely, Solitary Life What Wound I Sought To Heal, What Sorrow To Forget, Originally, Matters Not Now It Is Sufficient That Retirement Has Become A Habit With Me, And That I Am Unwilling To Break The Spell Which For So Long A Time Has Shed Its Quiet Influence Upon My Home And Heart

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

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  • Paperback
  • 130 pages
  • Master Humphreys Clock (Annotated)
  • Charles Dickens
  • 21 June 2019
  • 9781517024796

10 thoughts on “Master Humphreys Clock (Annotated)

  1. says:

    The reader must not expect to know where I live At present, it is true, my abode may be a question of little or no import to anybody but if I should carry my readers with me, as I hope to do, and there should spring up between them and me feelings of homely affection and regard attaching something of interest to matters ever so slightly connected with my fortunes or my speculations, even my place of residence might one day have a kind of charm for them Bearing this possible contingency in mind, I wish them to understand, in the outset, that they must never expect to know it.

  2. says:

    Yet to come across anything Dickens that is unreadable or unlikeable As always, the writing is of high quality, and the characters and stories are simple yet endearing the murder story in the middle was like a landmine in a field full of tulips, though.I take pleasure in the coincidence that I started reading this book when I was staying right next to St Paul s, the tolling of whose bells is referred to in various pages.Want to give this 3.5, don t want to give it 3, so I ll settle for 4.

  3. says:

    Since The Mystery of Edwin Drood was only half a story, the volume that Ernie gave me at our last Gentlemen s Book Club included Master Humphrey s Clock at the back, I suppose as a kind of compensation Dickens originally wrote it as a weekly periodical between April 1840 and December 1841 The illustrations, which I loved, were by George Cattermole and Hablot Browne, better known as Phiz Master Humphrey is a lonely, crippled old man who lives in London He keeps manuscripts in an antique clock by the chimney He decides to start a little club, Master Humphrey s Clock, at which the members eventually six in total, including Mr Pickwick would write and read out their manuscripts to the others A mirror club in the kitchen, Mr Weller s Watch, includes Master Humphrey s maid, the barber, and Sam Weller The collection serves also as an introduction to The Old Curiosity Shop and Barnaby Rudge I can hardly express how my admiration of Dickens s writing has grown since embarking on my stuttering journey through his works It s early days, and perhaps some disappointment yet awaits me, but I am already convinced of the man s genius As one may expect in a series of short anecdotes there is no central theme, nor one storyline apart from those of the little club itself, but allow me to make some observations, not only about the work but about Dickens himself The first concerns Master Humphrey s self introduction This isn t the first time I ve noticed Dickens use ugliness or deformity to embody goodness Master Humphrey explains that he lives alone, that he is old and crippled, that he has never married or had children, but that he has nevertheless no bitterness and no enemies Indeed, he spends time elaborating how people treat him with some suspicion at first and how, bit by bit, he gains their trust through kindness and a smile But it is his story of how he dealt with all these things as a small child that touched me In one remembrance he is with a group of other children at his mother s house, possibly at a birthday party, admiring a picture of a group of infant angels There were many lovely angels in this picture and I remember the fancy coming upon me to point out which of them represented each child there, and that when I had gone through my companions, I stopped and hesitated, wondering which was most like me I remember the children looking at each other, and my turning red and hot, and their crowding round to kiss me, saying that they loved me all the same and then, and when the old sorrow came into my dear mother s mild and tender look, the truth broke upon me for the first time, and I knew, while watching my awkward and ungainly sports, how keenly she had felt for her poor crippled boy Of course, not all good people are ugly and not all bad people are handsome, but I am reminded nonetheless of my previous comments about Dickens s love of caricature In this instance he makes a strong case, yet again, for judging a man by a his deeds rather than by his outward appearance I shall come back to this thought momentarily Another observation concerns Dickens s sense of humour It is indirect and gentle It is always present, especially in his dialogue, ready to surprise me While reading I smile constantly Take the example of Mr Weller, a corpulent old man He has a strange way of speaking, being a commoner among toffs whom he tries hard to emulate with limited success He mixes up his v s and w s, for example, and occasionally inserts a superfluous syllable into some of his larger words He also imagines that Master Humphrey s housemaid has taken a liking to him as, in his vast experience of such things, women are often wont to do He knows not why he is so irresistible, but there it is He warns his son, whom he calls Samivel , of the need for care in such circumstances The last thing he needs, he declares, is inadwertant captiwation This is not a laughing out loud comedy, nor is it pointing fingers, mocking, or even direct It is the slightest raising of the eyebrow and the faintest broadening of the mouth s corner, ever so gentle, ever so pleasant It s as if, while writing, Dickens looks unremittingly for the fun This is refreshing Occasionally, however, he loses his sense of the comic completely It is rare, so to quote an example I need, with your indulgence, to take you back to The Mystery of Edwin Drood Mr Honeythunder yet another wonderful caricature with a marvellously apt name is the president of the Society of Philanthropy, an organization with values supposedly held high, but falling short of them Dickens reserves some particularly choice words for him Always something in the nature of a Boil upon the face of society, Mr Honeythunder expanded into an inflammatory Wen in Minor Canon Corner Though it was not literally true, as was facetiously charged against him by public unbelievers, that he called aloud to his fellow creatures Curse your souls and bodies, come here and be blessed still his philanthropy was of that gunpowderous sort that the difference between it and animosity was hard to determine You were to abolish military force, but you were first to bring all commanding officers who had done their duty, to trial by court martial for that offence, and shoot them You were to abolish war, but were to make converts by making war upon them, and charging them with loving war as the apple of their eye You were to have no capital punishment, but were first to sweep off the face of the earth all legislators, jurists, and judges, who were of the contrary opinion You were to have universal concord, and were to get it by eliminating all the people who wouldn t, or conscientiously couldn t, be concordant You were to love your brother as yourself, but after an indefinite interval of maligning him very much as if you hated him , and calling him all manner of names Dickens was a Christian He gave a copy of the New Testament to each of his children when they left home and he wrote a volume, published posthumously, about the life of Jesus However, he had no truck with the Old Testament nor with the ideas of the Virgin Birth or Communion To him, the dogma, bigotry, doctrine, and rabid religiosity of established Christianity were not Christian at all they were hypocritical, self serving, and, above all, un English Mr Honeythunder epitomized the enemy and Dickens used him to spell out the perils of righteousness Rather, Dickens s Christianity focused on good works and on the example of Jesus in this respect A unchristian book than the Old Testament and a humourless god than Jehovah would be hard to find Dickens, being fond of both kindness and a smile, can be forgiven for dismissing both The meek must not only inherit the earth they must also be bequeathed a sense of humour Master Humphrey dies, quietly, dignified, happy, sitting next to his fire with his walking stick next to him His clock is allowed to wind down, his fire goes cold, while the great machinery of St Paul s Cathedral s clock never stops The metaphor is unmissable Recollections of the past and visions of the present come to bear me company the meanest man to whom I have ever given alms appears, to add his mite of peace and comfort to my stock and whenever the fire within me shall grow cold, to light my path upon this earth no , I pray that it may be at such an hour as this, and when I love the world as well as I do now Master Humphrey s Clock is a little masterpiece, and I loved it More especially, I have learned to appreciate the peacefulness, goodness, and inherent kindness of Dickens, while I have received at his hand something of the art of not destroying but recognizing and treating their opposites with restrained disdain Read it.

  4. says:

    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 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 I m not particularly impressed with the stories, although the writing is good.

  5. says:

    G.K 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 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 Originally a regular magazine written entirely by Charles Dickens, Master Humphrey s Clock uses an elderly gentleman named Master Humphrey as a frame for a number of stories It starts out in the style of 1,001 Nights with stories within stories, which works reasonably well But as Dickens worked, one of this stories turned into the full length novel The Old Curiosity Shop and another into Barnaby Rudge 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 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.

  6. says:

    An absolute delight.

  7. says:

    Anthropomorphized objectsI loved that dickens have sentimental objects life and their own personalities through the character of master Humphrey I also liked that master Humphrey could find joy in others happiness.

  8. says:

    Unfortunate that this starts off as what would appear to be a collection of short ghostly tales by Dickens, but it taken over by the Old Curiosity Shop in it s entirety Still an enjoyable selection before it is overcome by Nell and Dick.

  9. says:

    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 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 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.In Mr Pickwick s charge are the Wellers Tony and his son Sam 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.

  10. says:

    In April of 1840 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 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 1841, the pressure of a weekly serialization schedule cancelled, and Dickens went off to visit America and take a rest from publishing.This rating review is only for those parts of Master Humphrey s Clock exclusive of the two novels, which Dickens later wished to be considered independent of their origin.

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