“Reader, I married him”                                                               

24 December 2023

Here is the great strength of literature in four words. It is the appeal from the heart of the writer to the heart of the reader. This is the gift that has had such power down the years.

Had Charlotte Bronte looked you in the eye, grasped you by the hand and sat you down next to her at the table in front of a blazing Yorkshire fire in the Parsonage, the message could not have been clearer.

We are grateful for speech, and we must be grateful for writing, which extends our conversation over place and time.

One person can write a few lines with a wry smile, and another will read them, and the same wry smile is created. This happens for one reader or for thousands. This reader may be five miles or 500 miles away. This may take place 10, 20 or a hundred years later. How marvellous! We just don’t realize how lucky we are.

“Reader, I married him!”

Today is Christmas Eve, “Of all the good days in the year!” Scrooge must be woken from his summer sleep between the covers and do his job again. The interviews with the three ghosts of Christmas are read once more, and as a result some bent and wizened curmudgeon will change to a happy face wreathed in smiles. Once the story is read and taken to heart, put Scrooge back on the shelf for another year so he can sleep in the knowledge of a job well done.

In this way the great dialogue between writer and reader goes on, at Christmas and throughout the year.

“Reader, I married him!”