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Mugby Junction (1866)

by Charles Dickens

Other authors: Charles Allston Collins (Contributor), Amelia B. Edwards (Contributor), Andrew Halliday (Contributor), Hesba Stretton (Contributor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Christmas Number (1866)

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1284159,365 (3.61)7
Published in the Christmas edition of All the Year Round, Mugby Junction is the result of Dickens's collaboration with some of the leading writers of his day and contains four contributions by the author of Great Expectations and Oliver Twist, including what is arguably one of his most famous stories, 'The Signalman' o the chilling tale of a ghost's apparition at the entrance to a tunnel, the harbinger of fatal accidents on the line. Varied in tone and style, the eight stories included in this volume remain as fresh today as when they first appeared in 1866, and are a testament to the brilliance of Victorian literature, as well as a further proof of the versatility and exuberance of Dickens's genius.… (more)

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This often quite loosely connected series of short stories appeared in the Christmas 1866 edition of All The Year Round, a magazine that Dickens was then editing, while also supplying much of the content, though four stories here are by other, less well known authors. The collection is set around the railways of the fictional town of Mugby where the narrator of the loose overarching framework finds himself in the middle of the night. By far the most famous of these stories is the haunting and much anthologised The Signalmen, the second most famous Dickens ghost story. The Boy at Mugby is Dickens's hilarious satire of the catering in a British train station cafe of the time - complaints about railway food are nothing new! Most of the contributions by other authors are also pretty good, some mystery, with a few gothic twists. Overall, a very good collection. ( )
  john257hopper | Jan 31, 2019 |
This is a really interesting little book. Written as a series of 8 short stories, it begins when a man stops at an obscure junction station in the Midlands in the middle of a dark stormy night. The junction has 7 lines that leave it, heading in different directions. The idea is fairly simple, there is a story about what happenes down each of the lines. It doesn't quite work out like that, in that only one of the stories actually takes place on a voyage down one of these lines. The stories become journeys into the human psyche rather than through English geography. Written by Dickens and 4 different writers, the stories are a bit patchy, if I'm honest. That doesn't mean it's not without interest though. The story of the Signalman is a very quite scary ghost story - not at all in the usual line of Dickens. In all of them the railway runs as a theme, the characters all work on, in and with the railways. That makes the things hang together, but I did feel it would have benefitted from a final rounding story to match the initial opener.
As with any short story collection, there are peaks and troughs, but this went very well with a day spent travelling by train. ( )
1 vote Helenliz | Mar 31, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Charles Dickensprimary authorall editionscalculated
Collins, Charles AllstonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Edwards, Amelia B.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Halliday, AndrewContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stretton, HesbaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Macfarlane, RobertForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Published in the Christmas edition of All the Year Round, Mugby Junction is the result of Dickens's collaboration with some of the leading writers of his day and contains four contributions by the author of Great Expectations and Oliver Twist, including what is arguably one of his most famous stories, 'The Signalman' o the chilling tale of a ghost's apparition at the entrance to a tunnel, the harbinger of fatal accidents on the line. Varied in tone and style, the eight stories included in this volume remain as fresh today as when they first appeared in 1866, and are a testament to the brilliance of Victorian literature, as well as a further proof of the versatility and exuberance of Dickens's genius.

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From Hesperus dust jacket:
Arriving at Mugby Junction in an attempt to escape his unhappy past, a solitary traveller befriends a workman and his invalid daughter. With their help he sets his sights on discovering which of the seven lines of the Junction will most aid him in his journey of escape. In exploring one such line, he meets 'the woman he had lost', only to return to Mugby Junction once this situation had been played out. Staying there, and continuing his friendship with the workman and his daughter, he collects together the multifarious stories he hears around the Junction.
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