A Dickens a Day #1

‘Tis the haunting season, and inspired by the Charles Dickens Museum’s upcoming ghost story readings, Litro reads a story a day from a collection of Dickens’ many ghostly tales—none of which contain the words “Christmas” or “Carol” in their title.

Day 1: “A Madman’s Manuscript”, an excerpt from The Pickwick Papers.

The highlights: Murder, insanity, greed, unrequited love and solitary confinement, all within the span of about seven pages. Poe-esque at its outset, the story takes a turn from the psychological to the supernatural—or are these one and the same?

A tip: Best to avoid during your daily commute, lest certain passages—”how fast he would have run if he had known that the dear friend who sat close to him, sharpening a bright, glittering knife, was a madman with all the power and half the will to plunge it into his heart. Oh, it was a merry life!”—lead you to eye your fellow passengers with far more circumspection and suspicion than usual.

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