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

Cover of book The Man Who Invented Christmas: How Charles Dickens's a Christmas Carol Rescued His Career And Revived Our Holiday Spirits
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Categories: Nonfiction

Brief and lightweight story of the writing of A Christmas Carol. The author proclaims (at the end, unfortunately) that it is meant to be essentially a light little trifle, and indeed, it feels like a

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bit of a rip-off to pay full price for what is essentially a long New Yorker or Vanity Fair article. Almost half the length of the volume is taken with a reprint of Christmas Carol--wouldn't anyone who picks this book up already have a copy? Nevertheless, if you're interested in this topic and can find a copy at a library, I'd recommend it.
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When I saw that the movie was going to be in theaters this Thanksgiving, I decided it would be fun to take my sister, Katherine, to see it for her birthday which is in December. I felt I might like to read the book before going to the movie. What an incredible treat. It was so much more than I had expected. It was definitely a page turner for me. This is one book I am glad that I bought rather than just get from the library. Can't wait to see the movie!

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I had the mistaken idea that the book was more about the writing of A Christmas Carol. It is a good biography of Dickens. I am sure there are many biographies out there about Charles Dickens but this is the only one I've read. I wondered if the author wrote this as an academic paper then changed parts of it for a more popular book? I got a bit bored and bogged down with the details. Dickens was a genius, little formal education but what a mind! And he wrote this classic that really had an impact on the past 150 years of Christmas celebration. I learned some church history related to Christmas. I did not realize that celebrating Christmas had been a lot of "debauchery," or strong disapproval of celebration. A detail I recall: His parents could not manage money. His father apparently was not a gambler, but just one of those people "who earn 7 pounds a week and spend 8." His father was really audacious trying to get money from his son's publishers. He was not afraid to ask. Dickens had to put an ad in the paper saying he was only responsible for his own debts. Dickens had a hard time with this ingratitude. Hard to understand. The father was pretty shameless even with his son paying his rent and bills for him. This still happens in families! And the "moocher" still seems oblivious, in the cases I've become aware of!

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