Gift Idea No. 1 – Dickens at Christmas
Somehow, Dickens and Christmas have become almost synonymous. It is the very spirit of Christmas which Dickens conjured from his fertile and so charitable mind – and this is the kind of celebration of the Yuletide Feast which over the years we have come to accept as being the archetypal Christmas.
After the massive success attained with A Christmas Carol in 1843 Dickens continued the series throughout the 1840s, maintaining what he called “the Carol philosophy” to “strike a sledgehammer blow” for the poor, uneducated, and repressed. In typical Dickens fashion he drove his message home with a mixture of humour and good cheer. The Christmas Books were: A Christmas Carol 1843, The Chimes 1844, The Cricket on the Hearth 1845, The Battle Of Life 1846, The Haunted Man 1848,
Dickens discontinued the Christmas books after The Haunted Man, devoting his “spare” time to the publication of weekly magazines, Household Words (1850-1858) and All the Year Round (1859-1867), in which he included annual Christmas Stories. Included are fictional sketches verging on the autobiographical, recollections of childhood, reflections on past holidays and old friends, as well as tales of misunderstandings and lost opportunities. Humorous, tragic, uplifting, richly human, they reaffirm the virtue of nurturing our traditions, and offer a master storyteller’s vision of the real meaning of Christmas. These Christmas stories, together with the Christmas books, forever linked Dickens with the celebration of Christmas.
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