The Chimes: A Goblin Story is the second of Dickens’ Christmas stories and the third book in MCT’s Dickens Trilogy. This short novel was written and published in 1844, one year after A Christmas Carol and one year before The Cricket on the Hearth. Michael Clay Thompson shows us the power and significance of Dickens’s message that, as in the Sermon on the Mount, “Blessed are the pure in heart.”
Representing time, the chimes are the old bells in the church on whose cold and windy steps poor, elderly Toby Veck waits for jobs. He is a ticket porter, or messenger, for those rich enough to use his services, although they despise his poverty. The book is divided into four parts called quarters, after the quarter chimes of a striking clock. This parallels Dickens calling the parts of A Christmas Carol “staves” and dividing The Cricket on the Hearth into “chirps.”
Michael Clay Thompson’s Dickens Trilogy consists of three “Christmas stories” that Dickens wrote, each with a strong moral message about the contrasting worlds of the rich and poor in Victorian England: A Christmas Carol, The Cricket on the Hearth, and The Chimes: A Goblin Story. The language illustrations in each of the novels help children become more aware of the literary devices that great writers use.