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Behind the Scenes of The Christmas Hirelings

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"A Christmas story that warms the heart. A great reminder of not only what Christmas is about but also why family can be such a big part of it whether you realize...or want it to be that way."

Kevinf, Audible listener

Our favorite moments from The Christmas Hirelings

"You can’t expect me to be enthusiastic about Christmas…"
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"The notion is preposterous!...there can be no such people."
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"She is a little lump of love."
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"Love cannot be measured off hand, Moppet."
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  • The Christmas Hirelings
  • "You can’t expect me to be enthusiastic about Christmas…"
  • The Christmas Hirelings
  • "The notion is preposterous!...there can be no such people."
  • The Christmas Hirelings
  • "She is a little lump of love."
  • The Christmas Hirelings
  • "Love cannot be measured off hand, Moppet."

About the Performer

Richard Armitage is an actor widely known for his array of television, film, and theater work, including his roles in the BBC drama Spooks, The Hobbit trilogy, Ocean’s 8, and the acclaimed production of The Crucible at The Old Vic in London. His trademark baritone voice has earned him recognition, too, through his performances on many notable audiobooks as well as in TV and radio show narration. This experience shines through in Armitage’s masterful performance of The Christmas Hirelings, where he plays host to a plethora of characters.

Featured Article: The Best British Narrators


If you're looking for an audiobook in an accent, check out these listens from our favorite British narrators. Authenticity is something many listeners value in their audiobook experiences, and that often boils down to narration style and accents. Although so many audiobooks are narrated by many talented actors with wide ranges, sometimes it's just nice to listen to an audiobook performed by someone in their native accent. If you're searching for the best British narrators, look no further. We’ve done the tough job of picking just ten of our favorite British narrators that you'll love listening to.

What listeners say about The Christmas Hirelings

Average Customer Ratings
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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    6,331
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    5,552
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    2,622
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    293

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A warm and lovely Christmas story

This is a Victorian Christmas tale, and it's a good one.

Sir John Penlyon is spending Christmas with his niece, Adela, and his friend Thomas Danby, a makeshift family for the aging man with no closer family left to him. Long widowed, his older daughter died just a few years after her own marriage, with no children. His younger daughter married a penniless curate, in defiance of her father, and was of course disowned.

Adela mentions how dull a Christmas with no children is, and Sir John, a bit of a curmudgeon, says Christmas is pointless for a household without children. In short order, Danby has persuaded Sir john to agree to his scheme to hire some suitable young children to enliven their holiday.

In time for Christmas, Danby brings two little girls and a young boy, sweet, endearing children who do indeed enliven the holiday. The younger girl, Moppet, in particular, charms Sir John and endears herself to him.

But this is a Victorian Christmas tale, and Moppet, inevitably, falls dangerously ill. Sir John begins to think he made a mistake in opening his home and his heart. Also, of course, the origin of these children becomes a far more urgent matter. The question of whether a wounded and broken family can be healed becomes the center of this story.

It's very well done, and very moving. Recommended.

I received this audiobook as part of Audible's Audible Originals program, and am reviewing it voluntarily.

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Delightful story, excellent narration

Let's dispense with the obvious first: the narration by Richard Armitage is, as always, top-notch. (His rendition of "Moppet" was delightfully childlike!)

I'm glad Audible chose to gift us members with this particular "forgotten" tale. (And forgotten it is. I could not find a Kindle copy in Amazon but got a scanned copy from the internet archive website.) It is indeed perfect for Christmas and wonderfully written with its focus on children, family and forgiveness. I enjoyed M.E. Braddon's characterization of the children, especially their behavior upon meeting their host and in their varying reaction to one of them being ill. This is a delightful story excellently narrated. Thank you, Audible!

30 people found this helpful

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Recommended Feel-good Christmas Short

Similar to "A Christmas Carol." Touching story. Brilliant narration by Richard Armitage. Heart-warming holiday listen.

11 people found this helpful

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Fits perfect to Christmas!

I love Christmas tales and listening to them on their original idiom is a new experience for me (my mother tongue is Portuguese). And, of course, there´s Richard Armitage narrating the story, changing his voice for every character... I loved it, Audible! Thank you very much for the audiobook!

63 people found this helpful

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Perfection

This is such a lovely story! And of course, impeccable narration. Recommend to anyone who wants to listen to something that will warm their hearts, make them smile and make them a little happier.
Or just want to listen to Richard's very sexy voice ;)

4 people found this helpful

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  • JB
  • 12-11-18

Delightful Story of a perfect Christmas

This story is crafted by a gifted author and read in such a way that it is easy to almost live the story with the folks it is about. I got the book and “read” it ALL the same day. I will read it again before Christmas. You really should not miss this book.

4 people found this helpful

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I loved it!

I loved It! I enjoyed this story about love and forgiveness. Loved this little girl.

24 people found this helpful

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A warming Christmas Story

A Christmas story that warms the heart. A great reminder of not only what Christmas is about but also why family can be such a big part of it whether you realize... or want it to be that way.

This was a holiday story I had not heard previously and I was able to get through in one sitting. Excellent short listen that dares to bring some Christmas spirit to a cold heart. Nicely written and Armitage does a good job with narration. #Christmas #Holidays #HeartWarming

12 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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1894 Christmas story

Don't expect a modern tale, this novella length story was written in 1894. Some of the concepts seem strange to the modern listener, and by modern standards the pace is a bit slow. And for those who have watched many Christmas Holiday Specials, the surprise ending is easy to guess.

However, I enjoyed the nearly 4 hours I spent listening to this tale. It is a pleasant way to get into the holiday spirit, and Richard Armitage did a fine job of reading. I might have been disappointed if I had spent a credit to buy this, but am very happy with Audible's free Holiday gift this year.

Recommended.

3 people found this helpful

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A perfect introduction to the season!

A beautifully written, delightfully narrated book; exquisite characters, endearing story, masterfully presented in every way!

10 people found this helpful

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  • Gracious
  • 03-31-19

Short and sweet

It was a little bit odd at the beginning, but because it wasn't annoying I stuck with it and I'm glad I did. It was like Miracle On 34th Street and Dickens's Christmas Carol rolled into one. Very redemptive and enjoyable at Christmas time.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mrs
  • 12-29-18

Delightful

A wonderful, gentle and heartwarming Christmas tale of the power of a child’s love beautifully narrated by Richard Armitage.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-28-18

EXCELLENT

insufficient stars to rate this story of it's true worth. A must read heartfelt presentation.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • DebManning
  • 12-27-18

A little bit of Sydney history

Great book easy to follow with a great story of early settlement in Sydney and Wisemans Ferry.
loved it and the narration

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-22-18

Love the old language used and the story is good.

The book draws you into the story with enchanting phrases. Pleasant easy story in a quaint setting.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-22-18

listened from start to finish in one sitting

Well written and a lovely story that captures the imagination and the Christmas spirit. It does remind me of the classic Christmas movies - A Christmas Carole and It's a Wonderful Life.

a really nice gesture from Audible too. Thank you

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • elizabeth b.
  • 02-08-21

Oh this was average

If it had been longer than 3 hours I would have stopped listening. It was rather old fashioned and a bit twee. Still it did bring a tear to my eye. Odd that.

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  • Coop14
  • 06-18-20

A lovely easy story

A great little book for around the Christmas season. A wonder Disney hasn't picked it up to make a movie. Easy to listen to and quite enjoyable.

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  • Dutch H
  • 11-10-19

A special story

I enjoyed this book. Wonderfully performed with a story that takes you back to another time.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-03-19

Don't bother

The narrator was fine but the story was boring and repetitive. I didn't finish it.