The Cricket on the Hearth (Version 2)

Read by Ruth Golding

(4.7 stars; 81 reviews)

The tale of John Peerybingle, the good-hearted carrier, and his young wife Mary ('Dot'), interwoven with the story of poor toymaker Caleb Plummer, his beloved blind daughter Bertha, and the harsh old toy merchant Tackleton, who is due to marry May Fielding, a childhood friend of Dot. Comic relief is provided by Tilly Slowboy, the disaster-prone nursemaid of John and Dot's baby, and Boxer, the family dog.

The cricket who chirps on the family hearth assumes fairy form to save the day when disaster looms in the form of a mysterious stranger. Sentimental? Certainly - but this, the third (1845) of Dickens' short Christmas books, is as charming and irresistible as its predecessors A Christmas Carol (1843) and The Chimes (1844).

The novella is subdivided into chapters called 'Chirps', similar to the 'Quarters' of The Chimes or the 'Staves' of A Christmas Carol. (Introduction by Ruth Golding) (3 hr 54 min)


1 - Chirp the First, part 1 33:15 Read by Ruth Golding
2 - Chirp the First, part 2 36:24 Read by Ruth Golding
3 - Chirp the Second, part 1 27:44 Read by Ruth Golding
4 - Chirp the Second, part 2 29:10 Read by Ruth Golding
5 - Chirp the Second, part 3 20:55 Read by Ruth Golding
6 - Chirp the Third, part 1 20:25 Read by Ruth Golding
7 - Chirp the Third, part 2 28:22 Read by Ruth Golding
8 - Chirp the Third, part 3 37:56 Read by Ruth Golding


As Colorful as Ever

(5 stars)

As Colorful a Dickens tale as ever was told but with a surprisingly ALL happy ending. Dickens has a way of making you fall in love with his characters even when you are not sure which way he will be directing their story. The recording was cut off on my App at beginning of every chirp. One chirp started over about 6 minutes in but then played fine. Some chirps are longer than they appear. As always, a delight to listen to Mz Golding!

My Second Favorite

(5 stars)

Ruth is one of the best readers! I love this one second only to her reading of Wuthering Heights. The Cricket is a wonderful uplifting story which insighted feelings of amusement, curiosity, familial recollections, disheartened unbelief and even sadness. What a great story and the plots all intertwine perfectly.

Choose this version

(5 stars)

The narrator isn't quite Miriam Margolyes but she is one of the best readers I've come across on Librivox and the sound quality is excellent. Thank you! I'm so grateful to people reading these harder-to-find books.

Suggestive and good title.

(4 stars)

This is my kind of soap opera. Great story and who can tell a story more captivating than Dickens! Good moral lessons woven in.


(5 stars)

Ms. Golding is a gifted reader, possesses a wide range of character voices, and is conversant with a broad pallet of London accents-most impressive.

great story!

(5 stars)

This is the first time that I have ever heard this story. It was both delightful and very well read.

Warm Yourself by the Fire

(4 stars)

Such a beautifully read story! The love and kindness in this story melts any cold heart.

Well read Dickens

(5 stars)

Thank you for a beautifully read version of this often forgotten Dickens classic. A well deserved 5 chirps