Following my custom of many years, today I’m posting a lighter-hearted story for Christmas Eve. Today’s offering is a delightful fairy-tale like piece from 1913, called “Squire Humperdinck and the Devil.”

Christmas Bells with Ribbon svg

Greedy, grasping landowner Squire Humperdinck owns everything—and for all intents and purposes, everybody—in the village of Humperdunken. When the Squire’s mischevious employee Chuck discovers that the Squire is secretly the devil’s minion, it’s up to him and his faithful friend the crow to save the village. It all comes to a head on Christmas Day.

You can read “Squire Humperdincken and the Devil” here.

Christopher Philippo, in his introduction to this story for The Valancourt Book of Victorian Ghost Stories, Volume 5, identifies the author as Frederick Glasier Grundemann Foster. I suppose he published as F. G. Grundemann, since that’s how Philippo credits the tale (and so will I).

According to Philippo’s introduction, Foster was active in the Socialist and Labour Parties. This story appeared in the December 23, 1913 edition of the Manchester Daily Citizen, an official Labour Party publication. It certainly describes the plight of the working class and poor, victimized by their greedy and heedless overlords; but that’s true of a lot of fairy tales, right? And I’m pretty sure that most socialists don’t subscribe to “the devil made me do it” as the root cause of poverty.

Anyway, this is a fun and delightful story, and I hope you enjoy it! Wishing a Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it, and a joyous day to all who don’t.

A list (with links) of the winter tales I’ve shared in previous years is on my Winter Tales page.

Featured Image: Krampus card circa 1900s. Source: Wikimedia

Christmas Bells with Ribbon from a 1919 stationery and office product catalog. Source: Wikimedia

2 thoughts on “Squire Humperdinck and the Devil

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