The Man Who Invented Christmas:
Charles Dickens & A Christmas Carol

Introduction | Part One | Part Two

Part Two

Following up A Christmas Carol 
Dichimessplayed together here are the four subsequent Christmas books that Dickens 
 produced during the 1840s: The Chimes, 1844; The Battle of Life, 1haunted man & the ghost's bargain846;The Cricket on the Hearth, 1846; and The Haunted Man and the Ghost’s Bargain, 1848. In format, Dickens stuck closely to the successful pattern he had esbattle of lifetablished with A Christmas Carol, and later the books would often be repricricket on the hearthnted together, as a group. In content and theme, however, he avoided repetition.The Chimes mounts a fierce attack on the Utilitarian social policies of the hungry forties, and later Christmas books became increasingly dark in tone.


Dickens, Cha christmas carol in prose being a ghost story of yule-tidearles, 1812-1870. A Christmas carol in prose: being a ghost story of Yule-tide.
East Aurora, N.Y.: The Roycroft Shop, 1902.  Original suede leather cover.  Gift of G. Ross Roy, 2000.


The Cratchit Family Christmas 
Charlea christmas carol illustrated by ac michaels Dickens,  A Christmas carol.
Illustrated by A. C. Michael.
New York: Hodder and Stoughton, 1910.  Salesman's dummy, original green cloth.



Christmas with the Poor 
Charles the chimes illustrated by hugh thomsonDickens, The chimes. Illustrated by Hugh Thomson. New York: Hodder and Stoughton, 1910. Salesman's dummy, original blue cloth.

Broadsheet advertisement for A Christmas Carol, 1844
broadsheet advertisement for a christmas carol 1844This stage adaptation of A Christmas Carol by Edward Stirling, opening at the Theatre Royal, Adelphi, on February 5 1844, was advertised as sanctioned by Dickens, to distinguish it from C.Z.Barnett’s competing production, A Christmas Carol: or, the Miser’s Warning!, which opened the same night at the Surrey Theatre, home of early Victorian melodrama. Charles Dickens



Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol. London:a christmas carol Bradbury and Evans, 1858. Original wrappers.
Cheap editions such as this attest to the widening impact and sustained popularity of Dickens’s book.


Albert Smith, The entirely new and original drama . . . the cricket on the hearth.  London: W. S. Johnson.the cricket on the hearth

All of the Christmas books were rapidly transferred to the stage. This dramatization, based on “early Proofs, . . . by express permission of the Author,” was scripted even before the book itself was published. Smith, drama critic for the Illustrated London News, would later become famous for his monologue “The Ascent of Mont Blanc.” Opening at the Adelphi in London in December 1845, productions were running at ten other London theatres and uncountable provincial ones. 

Charles Dickens, Extra Christmas Numbers from All the Year Round.
London: Chapman and Hall, 1863-1867.

Following the breakupall the year round of his marriage in 1859, Dickens founded a new periodical to replace the unfortunately-namedHousehold Words, but continued the practice of editing (and often largely writing himself) a special “Extra Christmas Number.” Displayed here is a complete set of Dickens’s Christmas stories for All the Year Round, in the original blue wrappers.  Like most of Dickens’s later Christmas writings, they eschew the focus on happy family Christmas traditions that his earlier writings had done so much to establish.  


Pip’s Christmas dinner, from Great Expectations (December 1861)

The most famouspip's christmas dinner from great expectations of Dickens’s later treatments of Christmas, the pre-Christmas installment of one of his best-known novels when it was serialized in All the Year Round, depicts the orphan Pip, stuffed against the sharp corner of a crowded Christmas table among distant relatives he already dislikes, anxiously waiting his irascible sister’s discovery that her prize pie has gone missing from the larder. This illustration is from a contemporary American edition of the novel.

Introduction | Part One | Part Two

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