The Spirit of Christmas

Charles Dickens comes to the Morgan Library

The Spirit of Christmas

Shannon Rednour

Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol was an instant success when it was published in 1843-- so much so, that it was sold out by Christmas Eve, just a couple of weeks after its release. The novella's success generated no less than thirteen editions within a year, and Dickens enjoyed a fruitful career of public readings of the popular book. But did you know A Christmas Carol was just the first of five Christmas themed books by Charles Dickens?

After the success of A Christmas Carol, Dickens went on to write four more Christmas-themed books, The Chimes, The Cricket on the Hearth, The Battle of Life, and The Haunted Man. Together, the five books helped spark the Victorian-era revival of celebrating Christmas, establishing traditions, such as seasonal foods, family gatherings, games, and the generosity of spirit.

If you happen to be in New York this Fall, be sure to visit The Morgan Library and Museum for their "Spirit of Christmas" exhibition bringing together for the first time all five of Charles Dickens's manuscripts to "explore the genesis, composition, publication, and reception of A Christmas Carol, and its impact on Dickens’s life."


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