Christmas was Charles Dickens's favourite time of year, and in 1843, concerned with social ills in Victorian society, Dickens wrote his first story specifically for the season, A Christmas Carol. In the years that followed, Dickens wrote further Christmas novellas ranging from a satire on those determined to 'Put Down' the undeserving poor in The Chimes, to a rural love story in The Battle of Life and a warning on the dangers of jealousy in The Cricket on the Hearth. In The Haunted Man, Mr Redlaw loses the memory of past unhappiness, only for him to discover that from painful memories grow love and compassion.
These stories, especially A Christmas Carol, have become a part of Christmas itself: a reminder of simple, family pleasures – just as Dickens intended.
Commemorating the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens's birth
With their labyrinthine plots, evocative settings and unforgettable characters, the writings of Charles Dickens have delighted generations of readers. To celebrate the 2012 bicentenary of his birth, The Folio Society presents a selection of new editions of his works, based on the celebrated 1930s Nonesuch editions and featuring original illustrations by artists including Dickens’s long-term collaborator ‘Phiz’. Each volume includes an introduction specially commissioned from an esteemed writer, such as A. N. Wilson and Peter Ackroyd. They also feature individual new binding designs, with a quote from the novel blocked in gold on the front.
Read more about the life and work of Charles Dickens
Dickens was a one man powerhouse of creativity. For ordinary mortals just one of his many jobs would have been sufficient, (let alone a family of ten children). Yet despite his tours and editorial responsibilities, he wrote fifteen novels, three works of nonfiction and numerous shorter works. No wonder he should be called 'the great inimitable'.
From his pen flowed a seemingly inexhaustible series of characters who have enchanted generations of readers, whether we laugh at his comic creations or suffer alongside his heroes and heroines.
When the first serialisations of Bleak House and Oliver Twist appeared, readers thronged docksides and railway stations waiting for them to be unloaded. Today, the popularity of Dickens for TV series suggests his appeal is as strong as ever. It is Dickens's exceptional eye for character and voice, which keeps the books fresh, even though the milieu of workhouse and industry has changed. Mr Pickwick remains as funny as when he first stood to deliver his lecture on the Theory of Tittlebats and young Pip trembling on the Kent marshes as the escaped convict looms out of the mist, just as compelling an image.
Review by Shaun2307 on 4th Jan 2013
"A truly beautiful collection of the Christmas Stories by Charles Dickens. All the wonderful illustrations are here for the five books, and the font used as well as margin lengths are just perfect. ..." [read more]