Thommy Ford Reads

A blog by the staff of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library

“The Lamplighter” by Charles Dickens

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It is an article of their creed that the first faint glimmering of true civilization shone in the first street-light maintained at the public expense. They trace their existence and high position in the public esteem, in a direct line to the heathen mythology; and hold that the history of Prometheus himself is but a pleasant fable, whereof the true hero is a lamplighter.


You’ll find “The Lamplighter” in The Uncommercial Traveller and Reprinted Pieces: FIC DICKENS

“The Lamplighter” is a wild farce. It feels a little as if someone deleted all the plot, characterization, and heavy themes from one of Dickens’ shorter novels and just left us with a dozen pages of the funny bits.

It kicks off at a kind of Lamplighters Local meeting. One member decides to relate the legendary tale of Tom Grig, a lamplighter who was fated by the stars to make a great marriage to a beautiful, wealthy heiress. Err… well, sort of. The story is a little muddier than that, and it’s full of all the wild exaggerations and self-mythologizing of a twice told tale among friends. In the end we’re not even sure if Tom Grig’s story was anything more than a dream. But no matter, it’s still a fascinating and funny tale featuring some quippy dialogue.

A lighter side of Dickens for those only used to his heavier works.

Review by Matthew

One comment on ““The Lamplighter” by Charles Dickens

  1. Book Guy Reviews
    March 14, 2015

    Love this! Such an amazing story. Thanks for sharing! If you’re ever interested in some great book reviews and musings, be sure to follow! Thanks!

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This entry was posted on March 14, 2015 by in Book Review, Fiction, Humor, Saturday Shorts, Short Stories.
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