The Cricket on the Hearth is a novella by Charles Dickens, written in 1845. It is the third of Dickens' five Christmas books, the others being A Christmas Carol (1843), The Chimes (1844), The Battle of Life (1846), and The Haunted Man (1847). John Peerybingle, a carrier, lives with his young wife Dot, their baby boy and their nanny Tilly Slowboy. A cricket chirps on the hearth and acts as a guardian angel to the family. One day a mysterious elderly stranger comes to visit and takes up lodging at Peerybingle's house for a few days.