The theme - Charles Dickens. I wrote this on 3 December 2013 and thought I'd try a different approach, incorporating book titles (or alluding to them) within the text.
Belittled - Oratory
Last Christmas, Carol had a leak.
A pipe had burst, the prospect bleak,
House getting wetter, time was late:
Her expectations were not great,
Not knowing any Galahads
She picked quick from the paper’s ads.
How curious it is to shop
When rushed. Came Edwin on the hop.
“It’s costly – this job is – to sort.
It’s hell the sluice it is, to thwart”
So Carol, the options thus laid
Upon her, begrudgingly paid.
How dumb. Behind some work – slapdash –
He stemmed the mains, left with the cash.
How can he sleep, that little rat,
Or live a twisted life like that?
He wouldn’t take a nicker less;
– Nick’ll be where he confess-
-es how he tried this latest con.
In these hard times it is not on.
For Carol and her mate are cops;
Their mutual friends pulled out the stops.
So Edwin rued that soggy day
A copper feeled his collar. Hey!
For completeness, the books are Christmas Carol, Bleak House, Great Expectations (switched, sorry), Pickwick [Papers], [The Old] Curiosity Shop, A Tale of Two Cities (at a stretch), Barnaby Rudge, Dombey and Son, Oliver Twist, Nicolas Nickleby, Hard Times, [Our] Mutual Friend, [The Mystery of] Edwin Drood, [David] Copperfield.