*** New Audiobook Release ***
The Battle of Life: A Love Story by Charles Dickens
Performed by Amanda Friday and Rob Goll
The Battle of Life: A Love Story, published in 1846, is the fourth in Charles Dickens' series of "Christmas Books," five novellas with strong social and moral messages that he published during the 1840s. It is preceded by A Christmas Carol (1843) The Chimes (1844) The Cricket on the Hearth (1845) and followed by The Haunted Man and the Ghost's Bargain (1848).
The story takes place in an English village that stands upon the site of a historic battle. In this village, Dr. Jeddler, a good-natured widower, lives with his two daughters, Grace and Marion, and their servants, Clemency Newcome and Ben Britain. The story opens on the anniversary of the battle, a day which is not only Marion's birthday but also that of her betrothed, Alfred Heathfield, in the doctor's ward. Alfred is leaving the village to complete his studies and hopes on his return to claim Marion's hand. Three years later, Alfred's Christmas homecoming is marred by the discovery that Marion has vanished and is believed to have eloped with a local libertine, Michael Warden.
Though Dr. Jeddler's philosophy is to view life as a gigantic practical joke, the battleground upon which they live is seen by the other characters as a metaphor for the battles faced in life, hence the title. The Battle of Life is the only one of the Christmas novellas not to feature a supernatural element, though in common with the other four stories, the ending is a happy one.