The Advent Calendar of Literature: Day 18

The last few ‘windows’ of this literary advent calendar have been shedding light on Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, and Dickens’s role in helping to popularise the idea of the modern Christmas. But there is another writer who probably did more for Christmas than even Dickens did. Although we often talk about Dickens (1812-70) as the one … Read more

The Advent Calendar of Literature: Day 17

Over the last few days, we’ve discussed Dickens’s A Christmas Carol and the various interesting facts that we’ve unearthed surrounding its composition, publication, and legacy. It is, of course, one of the most enduring stories of the Victorian age – perhaps of all time. But A Christmas Carol wasn’t the first Christmas story Dickens wrote. It … Read more

The Advent Calendar of Literature: Day 16

Yesterday we revealed why A Christmas Carol, despite being a huge success immediately after it was published in December 1843, didn’t make Dickens much money. Today, we’re looking at some of the surprising legacies and adaptations of this classic book. For instance, take the world of gastropods. There is a species of Fijian snail called Ba humbugi, … Read more

The Advent Calendar of Literature: Day 15

Yesterday’s Christmas fact concerned the original draft of A Christmas Carol, Dickens’s most popular Christmas book. Today’s piece of Christmas literary trivia concerns the impact of this novella – and why its enormous success still left its author in financial trouble. Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol in six weeks during October and November 1843, and it appeared just … Read more

The Advent Calendar of Literature: Day 14

Yesterday’s festive fact concerned ‘A Christmas Carol’, but not the Christmas Carol. Today we’re moving on to Dickens’s enduring story of redemption and goodwill – the modern book that, more than any other, helped to instil us with a sense of the true spirit of Christmas (which is, of course, getting the biggest turkey you can … Read more