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In 1921, literature scholar V.H. Allemandy said 'Dickens, it may be truly said, is Christmas.' But this doesn't mean that the author invented the Christmas celebrations that we know today, rather that his writing reflected a nineteenth century interest in the Christmas season and the middle-classes wish to rejuvenate its' ancient traditions.
Dickens and his well-loved 1843 novella A Christmas Carol are inextricably linked with the celebration of Christmas. About 6,000 copies of the book were sold in the few days following its' publication and so began the association of Christmas traditions with events and people in the book, an association that has come down the generations since the book first appeared on sale. We have the poor but close-knit and happy Cratchit family gathered together to celebrate Christmas Day in true family style, the curmudgeonly, rich but miserly Ebenezer Scrooge who miraculously transforms into a model citizen, compassionate human being and benefactor, and Scrooge's nephew, Fred, who has a child-like excitement and love of Christmas and who embodies the kindness and concern for humanity appropriate for the time of year. Dickens promotes the idea of giving, represented by the giant turkey bought anonymously for the poor Cratchits, who could only afford a goose. Ancient links between the dark wintertime and the appearance of ghosts appeal to something deep within us, our heritage from the time of our ancestors.
We will discover how his ideas took possession of Dickens as he wrote, why this book is so much part of our culture and his influences for 'the re-creation of Christmas.'
- Duration: 60 mins
- Online Zoom event: Join from your computer, phone or tablet (a recording will be available)
Meet the Host, Margaret
Margaret has taught as a qualified lecturer in further, higher and adult education for over 33 years, and currently teaches English Literature and History in adult education. For many years, she has given talks to various different clubs, societies and other organisations, including Rotary and Probus Clubs, U3A’s, WI’s, Townswomen’s Guilds and Archaeological & Historical Societies. She writes a book review each month and contributes short local history topics for a community radio station, alongside writing published articles for the Brontë Society, the Jane Austen Society, Community Archives and the British Association for Local History. Her aim is that her talks are informative and interesting, with a touch of humour!
Preparing for the Event
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Charles Dickens and Christmas has supplementary learning materials provided by the event host. Once you book an event, you will get access to these resources.
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