The Man Who Invented Christmas: How Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol Rescued His Career and Revived Our Holiday Spirits

The Man Who Invented Christmas: How Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol Rescued His Career and Revived Our Holiday Spirits

by Les Standiford
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Overview

The Man Who Invented Christmas: How Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol Rescued His Career and Revived Our Holiday Spirits by Les Standiford

As uplifting as the tale of Scrooge itself, this is the story of how Charles Dickens revived the signal holiday of the Western world. Soon to be a major motion picture.

Just before Christmas in 1843, a debt-ridden and dispirited Charles Dickens wrote a small book he hoped would keep his creditors at bay. His publisher turned it down, so Dickens used what little money he had to put out A Christmas Carol himself. He worried it might be the end of his career as a novelist.

The book immediately caused a sensation. And it breathed new life into a holiday that had fallen into disfavor, undermined by lingering Puritanism and the cold modernity of the Industrial Revolution. It was a harsh and dreary age, in desperate need of spiritual renewal, ready to embrace a book that ended with blessings for one and all.

With warmth, wit, and an infusion of Christmas cheer, Les Standiford whisks us back to Victorian England, its most beloved storyteller, and the birth of the Christmas we know best. The Man Who Invented Christmas is a rich and satisfying read for Scrooges and sentimentalists alike.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307449733
Publisher: Crown/Archetype
Publication date: 11/04/2008
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 156,844
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

LES STANDIFORD is the author of the critically acclaimed Last Train to Paradise, Meet You in Hell, and Washington Burning, as well as several novels. Recipient of the Frank O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, he is Founding Director of the Creative Writing Program at Florida International University in Miami, where he lives with his wife and three children.

Hometown:

Miami, Florida

Date of Birth:

October 31, 1945

Place of Birth:

Cambridge, Ohio

Education:

B.A., Muskingum College; M.A. and Ph.D., University of Utah

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Man Who Invented Christmas: How Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol Rescued His Career and Revived Our Holiday Spirits 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Hoosierlv More than 1 year ago
This book satisfied the story behind the story of A CHRISTMAS CAROL and the man who fought some personal demons to get it done within his deadline. He elevated the poor without making them look utterly helpless and hapless. He chastened the hard-hearted rich who could not see beyond their unfathomable greed and utter selfishness. And he gave his readers a sense of just how to pull out the stops and REALLY celebrate a holiday outside of the religious institutions of the time. His three ghosts help a dowdy old man to repurpose his life and his goals and found that richness is only measured in how it is used to improve the lives around you, rather than in a bank vault. His protagonist is an unlovable person because he is incapable of loving anything that has no monetary value-- even his beloved family and his neighbors and employees. What is fascinating about this book is the back drop of Victorian England and the English speaking world's dismissal of a holiday and how it was revived from the ashes of feudal England and the Institutional Christendom and was reset as a social event without becoming preachy or overbearing. Dickens, a known socialist, was tempted by Marxist theory but rejected it and embraced instead a higher meaning of how society, church, and government can co-exist through the social networks of people as England evolved into the Industrial Revolution without losing or punishing any of those past institutions. He puts magic and sparkle and joy back into the gray skies of London England and the rest of the world. I would heartily recommend this book to the lover of history and for book club discussions, especially during the holiday season.
JL_Garner More than 1 year ago
Who among us hasn't read Charles Dickens' classic novel "A Christmas Carol" at least once, or seen one of the many film or TV adaptations over the years? Probably most of us, and we could debate for hours over whose Scrooge is the best.

It wasn't until I read Les Standiford's new volume "The Man Who Invented Christmas" that I realized just what a powerful impact Dickens' novel had on how the Anglo-American world regards and celebrates Christmas.

While Standiford's new book is hardly a groundbreaking study of Dickensian literature, it is a great read for casual Dickens fans, lovers of "A Christmas Carol," and those who are interested in the holiday itself.
LydiainJoliet More than 1 year ago
I was expecting this to be such a good book, instead all I can say is it is okay. I don't think that I learned much from it any more so than I would have read in wikipedia, I felt that the author was quite detached from Charles Dickens and it was like reading a bland rendition of something that the author looked up in various books about Dickens and simply put in order and had printed into a book. Maybe reading it in the beginning of December might give it a bit more interest, but I wanted to get a more personal look into the man than this gives. To be honest I was so relieved when it was over...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Easy to read and holds your interest all the way. Dickenson has always been one of my favorite writers. This was an excellent peek into his life and also gave insight into the evelopment of one of our biggest holidays. If you have children...they need to read this
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Dr.Angel More than 1 year ago
My joy in reading comes when I come across books such as these. I grew up reading books by Charles Dickens and of course CHRISTMAS CAROL is one of my favorite. When I picked up the treasure Mr. Standiford had written, I was ecstatic to say the least that I would now be able to read a history of the classic itself. Loved the book!
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