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Thread: Dickens ~ The Christmas Books

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    Registered User Red-Headed's Avatar
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    Dickens ~ The Christmas Books


    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?
    docendo discimus

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    I'm just using A Christmas Carol as the basis for my Christmas theme in the Library, along with the others, but I'm also using The Signal Man which was written over 20 years later, as I'm concentrating on his ghost stories. Christmas, Dickens and ghost stories, wonderful. I see Dickens as very relevant today, not least as I can't think of Christmas without him. He embodies Christmas to me. I absolutely love him. Stevenson was right. I also love Thackeray, who said that his friend and rival was a "national benefit", after someone called him a national institution, and wrote a lovely piece about his daughter's regard for Dickens, saying something along the lines of "why don't you write like that daddy?" after devouring his books. Wonderful stuff.

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    Registered User Red-Headed's Avatar
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    OK, who was the best screen Ebenezer Scrooge, Patrick Stewart or Alastair Sim?
    docendo discimus

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    www.markbastable.co.uk MarkBastable's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red-Headed View Post
    OK, who was the best screen Ebenezer Scrooge, Patrick Stewart or Alastair Sim?
    That's a 'Lennon or McCartney' question. But I'd go for Sim.

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    Registered User Red-Headed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkBastable View Post
    That's a 'Lennon or McCartney' question. But I'd go for Sim.
    Most people would agree. I do like the Stewart version though, it is much closer to the actual story. In fact, even the set design is more accurate, even down to the tiling on Scrooge's walls as mentioned in the original story.

    Oh no...I'm starting to feel all aaggghhh! Bah humbug!
    docendo discimus

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    Sim. I also liked Albert Finney in Scrooge, much under-rated I think.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lrEj...eature=related

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    Registered User Red-Headed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wessexgirl View Post
    Sim. I also liked Albert Finney in Scrooge, much under-rated I think.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lrEj...eature=related
    Sorry, I forgot about Finney's Scrooge! (Mind you, I hate musicals)

    I'm in the minority preferring Stewart then...

    Bah humbug!
    docendo discimus

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    Clinging to Douvres rocks Gilliatt Gurgle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red-Headed View Post


    ...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....

    [QUOTE=wessexgirl;810330]Sim. I also liked Albert Finney in Scrooge, much under-rated I think.

    I have read Dickens’ “Oliver Twist” and “Tale of Two Cities” and am quite fond of his writing based on those two works. As I type this I find myself a bit shocked realizing that I have only read two of his novels!, much less any of his works with a Christmas theme.

    Over the years however, we have grown to admire the musical version of “A Christmas Carol” titled “Scrooge” with Albert Finney. The family will participate in a rousing round of “the minister’s cat” and my brother in law has practically memorized the choreographed moves of Scrooge’s former boss Mr. Fezziwig when he leads all in a dance to “December the 25th”. With his robust stature, my brother in law not only matches Fezziwig’s graceful moves but also shares a similar likeness.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZdWrfDX2pQ

    This thread has inspired me; I shall obtain a copy of “ A Christmas Carol” and one other; perhaps “The Cricket on the Hearth".
    Gilliatt
    "Mongo only pawn in game of life" - Mongo

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKRma7PDW10

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    Registered User Red-Headed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilliatt Gurgle View Post
    This thread has inspired me; I shall obtain a copy of “ A Christmas Carol” and one other; perhaps “The Cricket on the Hearth".
    Gilliatt
    In the UK 'Penguin Classics' published them in two volumes at one time. Vol 1 had A Christmas Carol & The Chimes, Vol 2 had the other three. Vol 1 had an introduction by Michael Slater & he writes introductions to each story in both volumes, also both volumes had some of the original illustrations to the stories. They should be fairly easy to obtain.
    docendo discimus

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    Dance Magic Dance OrphanPip's Avatar
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    I adore Dickens, although I much prefer his later works: David Copperfield, Little Dorit, Hard Times, Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities.

    His early stuff is full of charm though and it's difficult not to like his Christmas stories. I don't think there is a single individual in the English speaking world who is not familiar with A Christmas Carol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OrphanPip View Post
    I adore Dickens, although I much prefer his later works: David Copperfield, Little Dorit, Hard Times, Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities.
    Hard Times was his anti-utilitarian novel. A lot of critics weren't that impressed by it when it was published & it took a long time for many to take to it. I think when you understand what he was attacking it makes it more readable. I've always liked it.
    docendo discimus

  12. #12
    Just reading these at the moment and enjoying them greatly. I've always been a fan of his writing, if not always his novels, but, I am coming around to them greatly. These stories are quite delicious.

  13. #13
    I already own "The Christmas Carol" & I'd like a book that isn't a short read.
    No children books either.Maybe something romantic or funny or sad or touching or something! I'd just like something that would be a good book to read.
    myspaceprofile Christmas

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