Christmas History

Mourning Dickens and Recognizing Christmas

June of 1870 is a month of incredible Christmas history. It was during this month that the Congress of the United States passed a blandly worded law making Christmas a legal national holiday and it was the time that the world mourned the passing of Charles Dickens. Christmas in America was an ancient tradition. Contrary to many modern historians and popular culture that tells us Christmas was a secular invention …
Christmas Movies

Dan Stevens to Portray Charles Dickens

Dan Stevens — the actor once-upon-a-time who played Matthew Crawley on Downton Abbey — has been cast to play Charles Dickens in a new movie to be titled The Man Who Invented Christmas. This is a project both to greatly anticipate and to loathe. The story of Dickens and his creation of A Christmas Carol is a great Christmas story in it’s own right. We celebrate Dickens after 200 years …
Christmas CountdownChristmas Features

Charles Dickens Day

Today marks 322 days until Christmas leaving just 45 weeks until the big day. It is also the 204th birthday of Charles Dickens, who was born on this day in 1812. The name of Charles Dickens can hardly be said these days without thinking of Christmas. While his career spanned decades with volumes of legendary written works it is his story of A Christmas Carol that keeps his name on …
Christmas FeaturesChristmas OpinionChristmas PastChristmas Stories

Reading Dickens

Everyone knows the story of A Christmas Carol backwards and forwards. Pick a version by decade and you’re bound to find one you love. Everyone can claim to have seen a big or a small screen version of it. But have you ever read it? I confess it never passed in front of my eyes until I was an adult. It was during one of my first Christmas seasons alone …
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Who is the best Jacob Marley?

Whether you read the book or simply watch A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens every Christmas there is no getting around the point that likely the juiciest role in the whole story is that of Jacob Marley. Think about it — he’s a mournful, lost, tortured soul suffering through the depths of hell that has come back to torment his former partner and friend. How can any actor resist such …
Christmas HistoryChristmas Legends

Charles Dickens: A Merry Old Soul

By Jeff Westover Life and times were hard in London of 1824. For one boy in particular, the second of seven children, life was especially difficult. At the age of twelve, his father was tossed into a debtor’s prison, leaving an already poor family utterly destitute. The entire family moved into the prison with the boy’s father. And the boy set out to work — twelve hours a day, as …