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2119126,416 (3.31)4
Dickens is considered to be one of the greatest British writers of all times. He was a social activist who wrote plays and novels during the Victorian period. His most famous novels include Tale of Two Cities, Oliver Twist, and David Copperfield. The Battle of Life is one of five books Dickens wrote around a Christmas theme. The Battle of Life was published in 1846. Unlike the other Christmas novels there are no supernatural elements in the plot. It also differs in that is it not a social novel. The story is romantic in nature and has a very happy ending.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
A sweet little story from Mr. Dickens. I had a little chuckle because I had my boyfriend stolen by my younger sister when I was in my early twenties. I must admit that I did not take it with the same grace as Grace. ( )
  mattorsara | Aug 11, 2022 |
This was the fourth of Dickens's original series of five Christmas novellas published in the 1840s, and starting of course with A Christmas Carol. This one is hardly known now, has nothing to do with Christmas, and indeed has no supernatural or religious elements. It was, however just as popular as the others on its publication in December 1846. The story draws comparisons between an old battlefield on which is the village where the story takes place and struggles within the families there. Alfred Heathfield is engaged to be married to Marion Jeddler, but she realises that he really loves her sister Grace, and therefore disappears, eloping with a man she seems not really to love, Michael Warden. So it is a novel of self-sacrifice, but not one of redemption. There are some wonderful pairs of comic characters, the servants Benjamin Britain (yes, really) and Clemency Newcome and the lawyers Snitchey and Craggs. Having been unimpressed with this story when I first read it exactly a decade ago, I now think this is rather a forgotten gem in Dickens's minor fiction. ( )
  john257hopper | Dec 30, 2021 |
The fourth of Dickens' Christmas novellas, The Battle of Life is really not Christmasy at all, but it is generally enjoyable. Beginning with a truly gruesome description of a bloody battlefield, the story quickly moves far forward in time to an idyllic apple orchard on that same field where we will witness "The Battle of Life" in a rather complicated love quadrangle involving two very lovely and sweet (too sweet!) sisters and two men, along with a philosopher father who thinks all of life is just a ridiculous joke, a pair of lawyers, and a couple of servants that provide us with our comic relief. The servants, Clemency and Britain, are truly the highlight of the novella and inject it with some humor and action that is entirely absent in the idealized and sentimental love story. The twist is pretty unbelievable, but nice enough. Read this one for the battlefield description at the start, and keep at it to see what happens to Clemency and Britain. Not bad, but there is more substantial Dickens out there. ( )
  kristykay22 | Jan 9, 2021 |
I'm not buying that ending, Chuck, but you being you, I enjoyed myself, as usual. ( )
  beautifulshell | Aug 27, 2020 |
What a truly bizarre story. I would put it in the melodrama category but I think it even goes past that and hard to figure out the point. I may be a bit more judicioius in my picking of Dickens's shorter works.
  amyem58 | Jul 3, 2014 |
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Dickens is considered to be one of the greatest British writers of all times. He was a social activist who wrote plays and novels during the Victorian period. His most famous novels include Tale of Two Cities, Oliver Twist, and David Copperfield. The Battle of Life is one of five books Dickens wrote around a Christmas theme. The Battle of Life was published in 1846. Unlike the other Christmas novels there are no supernatural elements in the plot. It also differs in that is it not a social novel. The story is romantic in nature and has a very happy ending.

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