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A House to Let (AUDIO BOOK File Download & Annotated)

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A House to Let by Wilkie Collins,Charles Dickens,Elizabeth Gaskell,Adelaide Ann Procter --- PLOT SUMMARY --- "A House to Let" is a short story by Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, Elizabeth Gaskell and Adelaide Anne Procter. It was originally published in 1858 in the Christmas edition of Dickens' Household Words magazine. Each of the contributors wrote a chapter and the sto A House to Let by Wilkie Collins,Charles Dickens,Elizabeth Gaskell,Adelaide Ann Procter --- PLOT SUMMARY --- "A House to Let" is a short story by Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, Elizabeth Gaskell and Adelaide Anne Procter. It was originally published in 1858 in the Christmas edition of Dickens' Household Words magazine. Each of the contributors wrote a chapter and the story was edited by Dickens. "A House to Let" was the first collaboration between the four writers, although Collins and Dickens had worked with Procter on previous Christmas stories for the magazine in 1854, 1855, and 1856. The four authors would write together again in 1859's "The Haunted House" which appeared in the extra Christmas number of All the Year Round, the successor to Household Words which Dickens had started after a dispute with his publishers. In a letter to Collins from 6 September 1858, Dickens outlined his idea for a Christmas story. He originally envisioned the story being written by himself and Collins with his plot outline fleshed out by Collins, but was later to invite Gaskell and Procter to contribute chapters. Dickens and Collins wrote the first chapter, "Over the Way", and the last chapter "Let at Last" together, and each of the writers wrote one of the intervening chapters: Gaskell "The Manchester Marriage", Dickens "Going into Society", Procter "Three Evenings in the House" and Collins "Trottle's Report". The plot concerns an elderly woman, Sophonisba, who notices signs of life in a supposedly empty dilapidated house (the eponymous "House to Let") opposite her own and employs the efforts of an elderly admirer, Jabez Jarber, and her servant, Trottle, to discover what is happening within. A dramatisation of "A House to Let" was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 during the week of 11th-15th December 2006. It was repeated on Radio Four Extra during the week 26th-30th December 2011.


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A House to Let by Wilkie Collins,Charles Dickens,Elizabeth Gaskell,Adelaide Ann Procter --- PLOT SUMMARY --- "A House to Let" is a short story by Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, Elizabeth Gaskell and Adelaide Anne Procter. It was originally published in 1858 in the Christmas edition of Dickens' Household Words magazine. Each of the contributors wrote a chapter and the sto A House to Let by Wilkie Collins,Charles Dickens,Elizabeth Gaskell,Adelaide Ann Procter --- PLOT SUMMARY --- "A House to Let" is a short story by Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, Elizabeth Gaskell and Adelaide Anne Procter. It was originally published in 1858 in the Christmas edition of Dickens' Household Words magazine. Each of the contributors wrote a chapter and the story was edited by Dickens. "A House to Let" was the first collaboration between the four writers, although Collins and Dickens had worked with Procter on previous Christmas stories for the magazine in 1854, 1855, and 1856. The four authors would write together again in 1859's "The Haunted House" which appeared in the extra Christmas number of All the Year Round, the successor to Household Words which Dickens had started after a dispute with his publishers. In a letter to Collins from 6 September 1858, Dickens outlined his idea for a Christmas story. He originally envisioned the story being written by himself and Collins with his plot outline fleshed out by Collins, but was later to invite Gaskell and Procter to contribute chapters. Dickens and Collins wrote the first chapter, "Over the Way", and the last chapter "Let at Last" together, and each of the writers wrote one of the intervening chapters: Gaskell "The Manchester Marriage", Dickens "Going into Society", Procter "Three Evenings in the House" and Collins "Trottle's Report". The plot concerns an elderly woman, Sophonisba, who notices signs of life in a supposedly empty dilapidated house (the eponymous "House to Let") opposite her own and employs the efforts of an elderly admirer, Jabez Jarber, and her servant, Trottle, to discover what is happening within. A dramatisation of "A House to Let" was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 during the week of 11th-15th December 2006. It was repeated on Radio Four Extra during the week 26th-30th December 2011.

30 review for A House to Let (AUDIO BOOK File Download & Annotated)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sr3yas

    I have heard, as everybody else has, of a spirit’s haunting a house; but I have had my own personal experience of a house’s haunting a spirit; for that House haunted mine. A House to Let is the by-product of collaboration between four authors: Dickens, Collins, Gaskell and Procter. (As I am a comic book nerd, I call them GCPD) This is a story of an elderly lady's obsession with the house opposite to her cottage; A house that neither gets rented nor repaired; A house with an odd presen I have heard, as everybody else has, of a spirit’s haunting a house; but I have had my own personal experience of a house’s haunting a spirit; for that House haunted mine. A House to Let is the by-product of collaboration between four authors: Dickens, Collins, Gaskell and Procter. (As I am a comic book nerd, I call them GCPD) This is a story of an elderly lady's obsession with the house opposite to her cottage; A house that neither gets rented nor repaired; A house with an odd presence in it. I know what you are thinking. No, it's not haunted. For most of the parts, this is a well written cozy mystery. There are six chapters in this story and the four authors wrote one chapter each. Furthermore, Dickens and Collins penned the first and last chapters together. Out of six chapters, only three contribute to the real story. The other three are just filler chapters. Nevertheless, I loved the chapter written by Gaskell, The Manchester marriage which recounts the history of one of the previous tenants of the house. Oddly enough, one of the filler chapter recounting the history of the house is written by Dickens himself and it is unequivocally the most boring chapter in this book. If I could edit out that chapter and Procter's ten-page poem (for good measure), this would have been a solid four star story for me. All the chapters written by Collins & Collins/Dickens are solid, giving importance to the characters and the mystery itself. (I am tempted to call Collins the real MVP of this collaboration) At the very least, A house to let is a decent story and undoubtedly much better than their second collaborative work: The haunted house. -------------------------------------------- Victorian marriage proposal #17 “Mrs. Frank, is there any reason why we two should not put up our horses together?” Awwwww, he wants to join their hous...wait. eh?

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sandy

    I started out with A House to Let by reading the chapter entitled Going into Society, which is one of Dickens' Christmas stories. Read alone, the chapter is quite entertaining, a tad weird maybe (to my mind, although maybe not to younger generations). I was fascinated, as Dickens characters always fascinate. I really did want to understand it, though, and reading the entire book (5 chapters) seemed to be the most logical approach. So I just finished and I think I will make the entire book an ann I started out with A House to Let by reading the chapter entitled Going into Society, which is one of Dickens' Christmas stories. Read alone, the chapter is quite entertaining, a tad weird maybe (to my mind, although maybe not to younger generations). I was fascinated, as Dickens characters always fascinate. I really did want to understand it, though, and reading the entire book (5 chapters) seemed to be the most logical approach. So I just finished and I think I will make the entire book an annual Christmas event. In short, I loved it! The book was a collaborative effort of Dickens with his contemporaries, Wilkie Collins, Elizabeth Gaskell, and poet Adelaide Anne Procter. A famous lot to be sure -- except for Procter -- but her poetry is so wonderful that it seems a shame that her work remains in the shadows. This truly is a Christmas treat. An engaging plot. A smorgasbord of characters for all appetites from whimsical to tragic. There is no better way to pass a few of the darkest winter hours! The Librivox recording by Ruth Golding perfects the experience. Try it -- you'll like it too!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Piyangie

    This is a story about a house that is to be let, and an old lady's desire to solve the mystery behind the house which is not let. Two men, one is her butler and other her friend, vie each other to find out the truth behind the mystery. Written by four well-known authors of the Victorian era, the story has a mixed touch of tone which is brought by the different styles and characteristics of writing. Dickens's wit, Collin's mystery, Gaskell's matter-of-factness, and Proctor's poetry were combined This is a story about a house that is to be let, and an old lady's desire to solve the mystery behind the house which is not let. Two men, one is her butler and other her friend, vie each other to find out the truth behind the mystery. Written by four well-known authors of the Victorian era, the story has a mixed touch of tone which is brought by the different styles and characteristics of writing. Dickens's wit, Collin's mystery, Gaskell's matter-of-factness, and Proctor's poetry were combined in the story. A comical and dramatic touch was added through the rivalry of the two male to please the old lady. The story was interesting with a good storyline and a nice happy ending. It was a fun read and also quite an experience to read a story collaborated by four well-known authors.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    A good story. Narrated in a most endearing way.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Gorab Jain

    At 70%, and I'm unable to continue it further. Except "The Manchester Marriage" which I enjoyed pretty good, rest of them were exhausting. "Going Into Society" was very dull and boring. Then came "Three evenings in The House", the poems which sounded nice on reading, but I couldn't understand the head or tale (excuse the pun) of it. And that became the last straw. Not interested to know about the house to let, in spite of the last chapter titled "Let At Last". Overall: Annoyed by the old English, t At 70%, and I'm unable to continue it further. Except "The Manchester Marriage" which I enjoyed pretty good, rest of them were exhausting. "Going Into Society" was very dull and boring. Then came "Three evenings in The House", the poems which sounded nice on reading, but I couldn't understand the head or tale (excuse the pun) of it. And that became the last straw. Not interested to know about the house to let, in spite of the last chapter titled "Let At Last". Overall: Annoyed by the old English, this slowly turned into a bitter medicine from a pleasant start.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Max

    I had a long train ride planned, two and a half hours so I wanted to read a book front to end. I remember picking this up in the thrift shop, fifty cents, and yesterday evening it's thin spine spoke to me. Just kidding, I just looked for a short book to finish in one go. Charming short stories, I found them very enjoyable. My favourite one was the marriage one. It's an old book, so old language is used. I will leave the book at the train station book exchange and pick up something else for the wa I had a long train ride planned, two and a half hours so I wanted to read a book front to end. I remember picking this up in the thrift shop, fifty cents, and yesterday evening it's thin spine spoke to me. Just kidding, I just looked for a short book to finish in one go. Charming short stories, I found them very enjoyable. My favourite one was the marriage one. It's an old book, so old language is used. I will leave the book at the train station book exchange and pick up something else for the way back tonight.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Indrani Sen

    An empty house and it's many occupants form this story written by many authors. The writing style and form varies and the effect is good. I connected to Gaskell's and Procter's chapters more. Still it was all good old solid storytelling. 3 star for the plot. 1 start for the form.

  8. 5 out of 5

    JoAnn

    This book was a lot of fun to listen to. Of course, Ruth Golding (LibriVox.org) is a wonderful reader, but the book itself is a real treat. Four popular writers of the time: Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell, Wilkie Collins and Adelaide Anne Procter each wrote a chapter of the book and Charles Dickens edited the entire story, making it fit together seamlessly as a whole. It is about a house that has remained vacant for several years which as come to the notice of an elderly woman named Sophonisba This book was a lot of fun to listen to. Of course, Ruth Golding (LibriVox.org) is a wonderful reader, but the book itself is a real treat. Four popular writers of the time: Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell, Wilkie Collins and Adelaide Anne Procter each wrote a chapter of the book and Charles Dickens edited the entire story, making it fit together seamlessly as a whole. It is about a house that has remained vacant for several years which as come to the notice of an elderly woman named Sophonisba. She wants to know why the house is vacant, which is what the various chapters set out to explain, through the histories of various tenants. I enjoyed this novel and am again grateful to the volunteers at Librivox.org for making it available to me. It is another book I would never have heard of or read except I stumbled upon it through this website.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    I am reading it as an e-book at Gutenberg Project. Contents: Over the Way The Manchester Marriage Going into Society Three Evenings in the House Trottle’s Report Let at Last Page 5: All at once—in the first-floor window on my right—down in a low corner, at a hole in a blind or a shutter—I found that I was looking at a secret Eye. Page 28: “O, sir, you must go. You must not stop a minute. If he comes back he will kill you.” Page 52: Or, to put it in plainer terms still, the subject was no other than the my I am reading it as an e-book at Gutenberg Project. Contents: Over the Way The Manchester Marriage Going into Society Three Evenings in the House Trottle’s Report Let at Last Page 5: All at once—in the first-floor window on my right—down in a low corner, at a hole in a blind or a shutter—I found that I was looking at a secret Eye. Page 28: “O, sir, you must go. You must not stop a minute. If he comes back he will kill you.” Page 52: Or, to put it in plainer terms still, the subject was no other than the mystery of the empty House. Page 67: To make short of a long story—and what story would not be long, coming from the lips of an old woman like me, unless it was made short by main force!—I bought the House.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sharadha Jayaraman

    4-star Review: A House to Let by Charles Dickens This novel, compiled by Charles Dickens and co-authored by Elizabeth Gaskell, Wilkie Collins, and Anne Procter, is a crisp and vivid account of a mysterious house in London that hasn't been let in years. Each chapter reinforces one of the many reasons why it has remained uninhabitable, with the actual mystery only unfolding in the end. The main and supporting characters were well-written and impacted the plot substantially. Since this is my first an 4-star Review: A House to Let by Charles Dickens This novel, compiled by Charles Dickens and co-authored by Elizabeth Gaskell, Wilkie Collins, and Anne Procter, is a crisp and vivid account of a mysterious house in London that hasn't been let in years. Each chapter reinforces one of the many reasons why it has remained uninhabitable, with the actual mystery only unfolding in the end. The main and supporting characters were well-written and impacted the plot substantially. Since this is my first anthology read, 0.5 stars for the format. I've often heard that an anthology is a publication of stand-alone works. However, what impressed me most about A House to Let is how four authors with disparate writing styles, collaborated on a project, to render the plot's continuity and coherency unaltered. It would probably mean a lot of meetings and brain-storming (read letter exchanges) sessions between them. Regardless, the outcome was top-notch. I'm going to be awfully partial toward Elizabeth Gaskell's Manchester Marriage when I say that it indeed was the winning tale among all the other chapters in the book for me. All other chapters piqued my interest at varying degrees. I'm thankful to all my friends who volunteered to group read this with me. Special mention to Ruth Golding and LibriVox's superlative effort to bring the narrative to life despite certain parts proving to be dreary.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lucia

    I knew already that it was a ten-roomed house, very dirty, and much dilapidated; that the area-rails were rusty and peeling away, and that two or three of them were wanting, or half-wanting; that there were broken panes of glass in the windows... that there were games chalked on the pavement before the house, and likenesses of ghosts chalked on the street-door; that the windows were all darkened by rotting old blinds, or shutters The story revolves around a mysterious, bleak house which “won’ I knew already that it was a ten-roomed house, very dirty, and much dilapidated; that the area-rails were rusty and peeling away, and that two or three of them were wanting, or half-wanting; that there were broken panes of glass in the windows... that there were games chalked on the pavement before the house, and likenesses of ghosts chalked on the street-door; that the windows were all darkened by rotting old blinds, or shutters The story revolves around a mysterious, bleak house which “won’t let”. Its sinister aspect and a Secret Eye shining at a hole in one of the blinds trouble the narrator, an elderly lady whose lodging is opposite the house to let. Dickens, Collins, Gaskell and Procter contributed to the realization of A House to Let, each of them according to their peculariar skills. It is amazing however how this collection of stories works as a whole. My favourite parts were by Elizabeth Gaskell, who wrote the Manchester Marriage , and by Wilkie Collins who authored Trottle’s Report . The good characterization, the spooky atmosphere and its Victorian essence made this book a very enjoyable read to me.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Em*bedded-in-books*

    I picked this book as a part of a weekend group read (with a dozen or so close bookish friends) that I am addicted to. Charles Dickens is one of my better liked authors and I love themes with older women who investigate mysteries, and seeing that this involved a haunted house gave it great charm. Added to all this was the fact that it was a combined effort by four authors including Wilkie Colins and Elizabeth Gaskell, both of whom I am partial to. But I can't say that I liked it much. My interest I picked this book as a part of a weekend group read (with a dozen or so close bookish friends) that I am addicted to. Charles Dickens is one of my better liked authors and I love themes with older women who investigate mysteries, and seeing that this involved a haunted house gave it great charm. Added to all this was the fact that it was a combined effort by four authors including Wilkie Colins and Elizabeth Gaskell, both of whom I am partial to. But I can't say that I liked it much. My interest proponentially dwindled with the coming chapters, chapter 1 being the best of the lot, and the last chapter which revealed the facts behind the house which wasnt being let , the most dramatic. All in all, a short and readable novel, and to me it doesn't seem like one among the famous works any of the authors, though I am unable to comment upon Anne Procter as I haven't read her works before.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Rosemarie

    The chapters were by different authors, so I liked some more than others. The overall rating is actually 3.5.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rebekah Giese Witherspoon

    What fun! A Victorian mystery/melodrama written by Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, Elizabeth Gaskell, and the poet Adelaide Ann Procter. The combined charms of these authors produced a quirky little 90-page concoction that was just what I needed: a quick trip into Victoriana without committing to a 700-page masterpiece. I didn’t know this book existed until I found the charming BBC Radio Drama: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00x... The free ebook is available at gutenberg.org and on Kindle. What fun! A Victorian mystery/melodrama written by Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, Elizabeth Gaskell, and the poet Adelaide Ann Procter. The combined charms of these authors produced a quirky little 90-page concoction that was just what I needed: a quick trip into Victoriana without committing to a 700-page masterpiece. I didn’t know this book existed until I found the charming BBC Radio Drama: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00x... The free ebook is available at gutenberg.org and on Kindle.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    Whew! I knew it was a bit of a mystery, but I really wasn’t expecting it to be SUCH a mystery. I should have known better where Wilkie Collins was concerned, it smacked of his plot lines. This book was co-authored by some of my absolute favorite authors: Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, and Elizabeth Gaskell. It was also penned by Adelaide Anne Proctor, who I discovered because of this work, and for which I am inordinately thankful. It was so much fun to see the differences between the authors in Whew! I knew it was a bit of a mystery, but I really wasn’t expecting it to be SUCH a mystery. I should have known better where Wilkie Collins was concerned, it smacked of his plot lines. This book was co-authored by some of my absolute favorite authors: Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, and Elizabeth Gaskell. It was also penned by Adelaide Anne Proctor, who I discovered because of this work, and for which I am inordinately thankful. It was so much fun to see the differences between the authors in the various chapters. I always like Gaskell’s characters, but I realized it was Collins and Dickens that make me truly emotionally involved with the characters. The several scant lines about Sophonisba’s loneliness at the start of the novel were so poignant that I was truly aching for her (view spoiler)[ I was extraordinarily happy her life is fulfilled by the little boy at the end (hide spoiler)] The Manchester Marriage had little to do with the overall story, except it whets your appetite to know the mystery of the house. It was a wonderful short story though. Gaskell again uses maritime misadventure to displace a male lead, and I feel that this must have been a nod to her brother who disappeared on a similar voyage to India and was never found. The characters are enchanting and it makes very smooth reading. You’ll love Mr. Openshaw, who is a man we love to read about. Truly good. Proctor’s poetry is haunting and beautiful, and does an excellent job of telling a coherent story. By chapter four I’d stopped taking notes on what I thought because I was so enthralled with the story. An excellent resolution that will not disappoint, but leaves you very well content. It’s such a great story, and it’s very short. I highly suggest it. I do wish, however, that Mr. Jarba hadn’t suddenly disappeared. This book was provided as an audiobook for free by Librivox.org. And was read excellently!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lyazzat

    This is my collaboration of three authours' book. Each author had a unique writing style and love them all as it had different parts which played well as a whole story. E.Gaskell's story was interesting as her storytelling was incredible.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Cait Poytress

    I especially liked Elizabeth Gaskell's contribution, The Manchester Marriage.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    Interesting mashup of famous writers. Just don’t think I was in the mood for Victorian melodrama. :-)

  19. 5 out of 5

    Julie Davis

    I really enjoyed this a lot. It's a collection of short stories that appeared in one of Charles Dickens' publications. The framing story is by Wilkie Collins about an elderly lady's curiosity about the "house to let" across the street. Stories about the house's previous residents are supplied by such luminaries as Dickens and Elizabeth Gaskell. Fairly short and, as I said, enjoyable.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Diana Long

    A collaboration of authors Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskill and Adelaide Ann Proctor. A short story that is a somewhat humorous mystery which I found especially entertaining. The story starts with a spinster who rents lodgings across the street from a house to let which is never let and has remained for some years in this state. She becomes obsessed with this house and it's past history and with the help of a relentless suitor and servant discovers much about the former tenants A collaboration of authors Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskill and Adelaide Ann Proctor. A short story that is a somewhat humorous mystery which I found especially entertaining. The story starts with a spinster who rents lodgings across the street from a house to let which is never let and has remained for some years in this state. She becomes obsessed with this house and it's past history and with the help of a relentless suitor and servant discovers much about the former tenants. I would have loved to be in on the discussions this group might have had over tea. Highly recommend this work.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    This was a fun treat that I had never heard of until very recently ~ a story written by Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, Elizabeth Gaskell and Adelaide Anne Procter! It was written for a Christmas edition of a magazine, and the main story was outlined and the first chapter written by Dickens and Collins together. Then each of the four authors wrote an additional chapter. The story is a mystery with a happy Christmas ending, and is a short and enjoyable read.

  22. 4 out of 5

    K.

    Wonderful fun! I copied the text from Gutenburg. It must have been a "I'll write the first part of the story; you write the second and so on." How could you go wrong with Dickens, Collins and Gaskell?

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lavinia

    A most interesting story, all through.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Krubha

    3.6 stars to be exact. The first and last chapters co-written by Dickens and Collins wonderfully introduce the plot, the main characters and blend the other chapters well to give a neat climax. There are four chapters in between, written by each of the four authors, each standing out distinctively with regards to their style. The two women writers definitely score a little over the men in The Manchester marriage and Three evenings in the house.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Helen

    A House to Let is a collaboration between four 19th century authors, which originally appeared as the Christmas edition of Charles Dickens' weekly magazine, Household Words, in 1858. The book is divided into six sections; the first, Over the Way, and the sixth, Let at Last, are joint efforts by Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins, and provide the framework for the story. The other four sections are individual contributions from Elizabeth Gaskell, Charles Dickens, Adelaide Anne Procter and Wilkie A House to Let is a collaboration between four 19th century authors, which originally appeared as the Christmas edition of Charles Dickens' weekly magazine, Household Words, in 1858. The book is divided into six sections; the first, Over the Way, and the sixth, Let at Last, are joint efforts by Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins, and provide the framework for the story. The other four sections are individual contributions from Elizabeth Gaskell, Charles Dickens, Adelaide Anne Procter and Wilkie Collins, in that order. Over the Way introduces us to Sophonisba, an elderly woman who has never married but has two men vying for her attentions - one is her old admirer Jabez Jarber; the other is her servant, Trottle. When Sophonisba's doctor advises a change of air and scene, she leaves her home in Tunbridge Wells and moves into new lodgings in London, where she immediately becomes obsessed with the house opposite - a house which has been vacant for many years and is permanently 'to let'. Determined to discover why the house has remained empty for so long - and convinced she has seen an eye staring out from one of the windows - she asks Jarber and Trottle to investigate. Over the Way and Let at Last are credited to both Dickens and Collins, but there's no way to tell exactly which parts were contributed by which writer. The other four chapters, though, are each written in the distinctive style of their respective authors and each tell the story of a previous occupant of the house to let. The chapter I liked the least was actually the one written solely by Dickens, Going Into Society. The story of a showman and a circus dwarf called Mr Chops, it was just too weird for me and was also quite difficult to read as it was written in dialect. It's probably significant that I found the two Dickens/Collins collaborations much easier to read than this solo effort, as I've always thought Collins was a lot more readable than Dickens. Three Evenings in the House, the contribution by Adelaide Anne Procter, whose work I was previously unfamiliar with, is in the form of a narrative poem. I'm not a big lover of poetry but luckily for me this was only thirteen pages long and quite easy to understand. Other than providing some variety though, I don't think this chapter really added much to the story. The Manchester Marriage by Elizabeth Gaskell stands out as an excellent piece of writing: a tragic story of Alice Wilson, who is widowed when her husband is lost at sea. After marrying again, she and her new husband move into the house to let where further tragedy awaits them. This is good enough to work as a stand-alone short story (and according to the Biographical Notes, it was actually published separately in its own right). This and the Wilkie Collins contribution, Trottle's Report, were my favourite chapters. Trottle's Report is a typical Collins story, with unusual, quirky characters, a mysterious secret, and a slightly dark and gothic feel. If you like any of these four authors or Victorian fiction in general, then A House to Let is definitely worth reading. It also provides a good introduction to Dickens, Collins, Procter and Gaskell without having to commit yourself to one of their longer works.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Haritha

    The premise of the story is simple. The narrator, an elderly lady, moves into a new neighborhood and is intrigued by the desolate looking house now facing hers. Two men, her longtime suitor and her valet, who do little to hide their mutual animosity, set out to solve the mystery of the house. They adopt contrasting methods. The suitor taps into his many, influential acquaintances and finds out many charming stories about the the previous residents of the house. They are stories told to him by oth The premise of the story is simple. The narrator, an elderly lady, moves into a new neighborhood and is intrigued by the desolate looking house now facing hers. Two men, her longtime suitor and her valet, who do little to hide their mutual animosity, set out to solve the mystery of the house. They adopt contrasting methods. The suitor taps into his many, influential acquaintances and finds out many charming stories about the the previous residents of the house. They are stories told to him by other people and he repeats them as they were told to him. The valet, on the other hand, walks up to the house and knocks on the door. His story is composed of his own experience as well as some guess work on his part. The stories narrated by the two men have delightful and varied characters. They engage us through their varying fortunes and when their stories come to a closure we are a left with a warm feeling in our hearts. However, we are immediately reminded of the mystery of the house. We reluctantly leave the story-characters behind to sate our curiosity about the house. As each story is told in the words of a different person, each of the four authors of the novella have the opportunity to employ their own unique writing styles, which also includes poetry. A must read for all English literature lovers.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Marialyce

    This was a collaborative work by Dickens, Gaskell, Collins, and Proctor. The book, divided into six sections concerns an elderly woman, Sophonisba and the two elderly men who admire her and of course the house across from her that has been vacant for many a year. Te house becomes prominent in Sophonisba's mind when she spies what she believes is an eye living in the house and the action of the story with each of the above authors contributing a chapter or two is the basis of the story. Each autho This was a collaborative work by Dickens, Gaskell, Collins, and Proctor. The book, divided into six sections concerns an elderly woman, Sophonisba and the two elderly men who admire her and of course the house across from her that has been vacant for many a year. Te house becomes prominent in Sophonisba's mind when she spies what she believes is an eye living in the house and the action of the story with each of the above authors contributing a chapter or two is the basis of the story. Each author writes of a former occupant of the house and we learn of the various people through the eyes of the author who selected that character as theirs. There is even a poetic chapter contributed by Ms Proctor who I understand was quite well known in her day. After the meeting of the various tenants of the unoccupied house, the mystery of the "eye" is solved and the story is brought to a successful end. I thought the book was ok, not what I really expected from these heavy hitters of the Victorian story telling age. I enjoyed Gaskell's chapter the most and thought as always, she did a fine job with her characters.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Christopher

    A mystery surrounding a house seemingly unable to attract renters, told mainly through the tragic histories of its former tenants. The main characters are quite personable and help make the book, at times suspenseful, at times humorous, at times dull, in the end still worthwhile even with its less than mysterious conclusion. I found myself particularly enjoying the Wilkie Collins sections as well as the poetry of Adelaide Anne Procter, of whom I'd never heard. The chapter by Elizabeth Gaskell, t A mystery surrounding a house seemingly unable to attract renters, told mainly through the tragic histories of its former tenants. The main characters are quite personable and help make the book, at times suspenseful, at times humorous, at times dull, in the end still worthwhile even with its less than mysterious conclusion. I found myself particularly enjoying the Wilkie Collins sections as well as the poetry of Adelaide Anne Procter, of whom I'd never heard. The chapter by Elizabeth Gaskell, though satisfying at the end, was drawn out too far, and the chapter written solely by Dickens, despite being about a dwarf who wins the lottery, almost made me want to give up on the book. The actual accreditation for each of the chapters is not immediately easy to find so here is the breakdown: 1) Over the Way ~ Wilkie Collins/Charles Dickens 2) The Manchester Marriage ~ Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell 3) Going into Society ~ Charles Dickens 4) Three Evenings in the House ~ Adelaide Anne Procter 5) Trottle's Report ~ Wilkie Collins 6) Let at Last ~ Wilkie Collins/Charles Dickens Free on Kindle and free through a wonderfully-read Librivox recording by Ruth Golding.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Laurent

    A charming little novella A house to let is a charming, pleasing little novella that was written in collaboration by four authors, the most notable of course being Dickens. The novel is a semi-mystery book in that the narrator is attempting to discover the mystery behind a house that is constantly To Let. Herein, four distinct stories are written by the four contributing authors... I didn't know who wrote each but I incorrectly guessed that Dickens had written "The Manchester Marriage", which was A charming little novella A house to let is a charming, pleasing little novella that was written in collaboration by four authors, the most notable of course being Dickens. The novel is a semi-mystery book in that the narrator is attempting to discover the mystery behind a house that is constantly To Let. Herein, four distinct stories are written by the four contributing authors... I didn't know who wrote each but I incorrectly guessed that Dickens had written "The Manchester Marriage", which was the story I enjoyed most; it was in fact written by Elizabeth Gaskell. I mostly enjoyed most of the four stories other than Procter's "Three Evenings in the House" which I admittedly probably wasn't paying enough attention to. The tie in between the start and the end of the book - and the rescue of the little child from the House to Let were wonderfully creative and quite moving, so I'd give this book 3.5 stars.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kanika

    A read-able short story with two other short stories and a long poem embedded in it, and the standard Christian ending: a child is saved, a charitable hospital opened. A little loose ended. I'd love to see Jarbez's reaction when Trollop solves the mystery of the dilapidated house to let. You should read it if you feel the pressure to read the 19th century classics but can never stop reading contemporary fiction. In under hundred paged you get to sample a complete work by four 19th century author A read-able short story with two other short stories and a long poem embedded in it, and the standard Christian ending: a child is saved, a charitable hospital opened. A little loose ended. I'd love to see Jarbez's reaction when Trollop solves the mystery of the dilapidated house to let. You should read it if you feel the pressure to read the 19th century classics but can never stop reading contemporary fiction. In under hundred paged you get to sample a complete work by four 19th century authors; Dickens and Collins wrote the framework, Gaskell wrote the two stories and Procter wrote the poem. After reading it I decided to dig out more of Dickens and let Gaskell rest for now. Also, the embedded stories and the poem don't really contribute to the ending and you can read them on their own.

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