Dickens and Christmas
by Lucinda Hawksley
Pen & Sword
Pen and Sword History
Pub Date 30 Oct 2017
I am reviewing a copy of Dickens and Christmas through Pen and Sword and Netgalley:
In 1812 at Christmas Frances (known as Fanny) was two and Charles was only ten months. John and Elizabeth Dickens young family lived in the town of Portsmouth located on the south coast of England. John Dickens was a clerk at the Navy’s Payroll office. An ironic job for a man who had a terrible time controlling his own finances. The Christmas of 1812 was a difficult time for many.
For many centuries Christmas was not celebrated the way it became celebrated during the Victorian era.
By the time Charles first Christmas came around, the winter of 1813-14 went down as one of London’s coldest winters in memory.
Charles was one of eight children, two who died in infancy.
In 1836 Dickens met John Forster who would later become his first biographer, The Life Of Charles Dickens was published 1872-1874.
In 1823 Charles was spending much of his time running errands for his parents and visiting his disabled uncle Thomas Barrow (His Mother’s Brother) whose leg had been amputated after a bad break.
In 1827 when John was fifteen and Fanny seventeen John Dickens was arrested again, though not imprisoned.
On April.02.1936 Charles and Catherine were married. There first child was conceived on their honeymoon and on January.06.1937 Charles Culliford Boz Dickens was born.
Dickens also paid particular attention to injustices such as Child Labor in factories in England. He believed too in the importance of educating working men and women.
During Christmas of 1843 Charles Dickens gave friends advanced copies of A Christmas Carol, a book that in many ways would become iconic.
Like his Father Charles Dickens would suffer with financial difficulties. After Catherine gave birth to their fifth child, they would go into debt due to medical expenses.
I found Dickens at Christmas to both be entertaining and educational.
Five out of five stars.