In a letter to an unidentified correspondent quoted in the Dickensian Robert Louis Stevenson wrote:
‘I wonder if you have read Dickens’s Christmas books?...They are too much perhaps. I have only read two yet, but I have cried my eyes out, and had a terrible fight not to sob. But oh dear God, they are good - and I feel so good after them - I shall do good and lose no time - I want to go out and comfort someone - I shall give money. Oh, what a jolly thing it is for a man to have written books like these and just filled people’s hearts with pity.’
Between 1843 & 1846 Dickens wrote five Christmas Books comprising of A Christmas Carol, The Chimes, The Cricket on the Hearth, The Battle of Life & The Haunted Man.
It is said that at the time The Cricket on the Hearth was the most popular of them all. It is my personal favourite. Does anyone have a favourite of the Christmas Books?
With the advent of cinema & television A Christmas Carol seems to be the only one of these stories that most people are now familiar with.
How relevant are these stories in the twenty-first century?