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

Les Standiford / Mar 28, 2020
The Man Who Invented Christmas How Charles Dickens s A Christmas Carol Rescued His Career and Revived Our Holiday Spirits As uplifting as the tale of Scrooge itself this is the story of how one writer and one book revived the signal holiday of the Western world Just before Christmas in a debt ridden and dispirited
  • Title: The Man Who Invented Christmas: How Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol Rescued His Career and Revived Our Holiday Spirits
  • Author: Les Standiford
  • ISBN: 9780307405784
  • Page: 364
  • Format: Hardcover
  • As uplifting as the tale of Scrooge itself, this is the story of how one writer and one book revived the signal holiday of the Western world.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 CarAs uplifting as the tale of Scrooge itself, this is the story of how one writer and one book revived the signal holiday of the Western world.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.
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      364 Les Standiford
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      Posted by:Les Standiford
      Published :2019-010-25T20:57:13+00:00

    About "Les Standiford"

      • Les Standiford

        Les Standiford is a historian and author and has since 1985 been the Director of the Florida International University Creative Writing Program Standiford has been awarded the Frank O Connor Award for Short Fiction, a Florida Individual Artist Fellowship in Fiction, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction, and belongs to the Associated Writing Programs, Mystery Writers of America, and the Writers Guild.


    362 Comments

    1. A Christmas Carol is almost a perfect work of art Unlike Dickens serials sprawling, digressive epics like Bleak House, Great Expectations, and David Copperfield Carol is short and succinct It is neatly separated into acts, has only one major character, and heads confidently towards its conclusion from the very first page a thing that can t be said for Dickens longer novels, which grow ever wider and shaggier with each passing page I love A Christmas Carol I read it every year, always reminded ho [...]


    2. Hooo Just under the wire I thought I d finish this book a week ago, but life Loved reading this right after Mr Dickens and His Carol It was a wonderful real life non fiction counterpart to that fictional story Informative and festive this book was a short and sweet little book about Dickens writing his Carol and how it shaped Christmas as we know it Lovely.


    3. After reading Mr Dickens and His Carol A Novel, a fictionalized account of how Dickens came to write his famous Christmas Carol, I was hungry for information and found it in this nonfiction book which was published in 2008 and made into a movie this year.Les Standiford s book is very engaging as well as informational and covers most of Dickens life, not just the few weeks it took to write his most famous Christmas story Why was it so popular at the time it was published and remains so to this d [...]


    4. This book is about the professional and creative development of Dickens work There is a tremendous amount of context provided in the way that authorship transformed during the Victorian period.There s a large amount of history of Dickens relationship with different publishers and the way they did business These are all things that are fairly factual and can be examined based on extensive documentation It may or may not be as interesting to some readers as the original title suggests that dicken [...]


    5. Anyone who loves Dickens A Christmas Carol should read this book The Man Who Invented Christmas will help its reader understand Dickens condition at the time he wrote the story, and the challenges he faced in getting it written at all, let alone in the few weeks he had to finish the project before the Christmas season passed him by But The Man Who Invented Christmas is much than a book about a book Instead, it is best understood as an excellent short biography of Dickens and an explanation of h [...]


    6. A fabulous insight into the past, present, and future of what made Dicken s Classic works so revelant to today and how we as Americans celebrate current traditions related to Christmas with everything that entails.This is a classic tale ghostly if you will about a man and his struggles to not only support his family wife and 5 kids but to also do so with dignity and class During the 1800 s it was not easy to make a name for oneself and Dicken s didn t initially set out to become a famous writer [...]


    7. Concise biographical insight into Dickens the impulses and context for his creation of the beloved literary classic A CHRISTMAS CAROL Smooth, highly readable prose but plenty of facts too I particularly enjoyed learning about the Christmas writings of authors prior to Dickens such as Washington Irving s non fiction on the subject as well as writers mostly forgotten today who were greatly influenced by Dicken s little carol, such as Benjamin Farjeon If you re a writer, or interested in the world [...]


    8. Not only do we learn about Charles Dickens and the creation of A Christmas Carol but also a brief history of 1 publishing marketing during the mid 1800s, 2 the horrendous condition of workhouses and the poor of London, and 3 the Christmas holiday All of this in a small, non intimidating book Happy Holidays Victoria


    9. Celebrating Christmas without some reference to A Christmas Carol seems impossible, a remarkable fact given that the book was published than 150 years ago Indeed, the resonance of the story has remained so strong through the generations that commentators have referred to Dickens as the man who invented Christmas So, this book needs a change in its cover art If you, like me, judged this book by its Christmasy cover, all red, green, and candy canes and randomly thought it was a story with a plot [...]


    10. THE MAN WHO INVENTED CHRISTMAS 2011 Les Standiford The full title includes How Charles Dickens s A Christmas Carol Rescued His Career and Revived out Holiday Spirits That s a real mouthful, and can probably be used as the total review of this book by that skillful writer, Mr Standiford His last several books have all been non fiction, where he has seemed to have found his metier His first writings were all crime fiction featuring a series hero, John Deal, a real estate developer in Florida In th [...]


    11. First line In London, in 1824, it was the custom to treat a debtor little differently from a man who had reached into a purse and stolen a similar sum Being the rose colored glasses Christmas fanatic that I am, I very much enjoyed this look into the life of Charles Dickens and the creation of, arguably, his most beloved book I was thrilled to discover that perhaps his drive to create this book was partially due to monetary needs, but that he did in fact cherish this holiday close to his heart I [...]


    12. Have you ever wondered how some of your favorite books came to be written Les Standiford gives us a fascinating glimpse into the mind of Charles Dickens, and details the circumstances that led him to produce the world s most beloved and well known Christmas story A Christmas Carol, while at the same time helping change the way the holiday is celebrated This book is filled with enough fun facts to delight Dickens fans, trivia buffs, or folks who are just plain crazy about Christmas, there is some [...]


    13. This book is actually pretty good The reason for my 3 star rating, and lower ratings from several other readers as well, I presume, is that we judged the book by its cover and had different expectations What I anticipated was a warm look at A Christmas Carol, how Dickens came to write it, how it became ingrained in our cultural consciousness perhaps so than any other book except the Bible , and in what way it s defined Christmas since its writing We get some of that e.g an interesting mention o [...]


    14. Standiford s examination of the financial business side of how Charles Dickens classic was published he was near broke, considered washed up, and later faced a major copyright piracy court case where he was Scrooged out of his fair share of monetary gain for unauthorized U.S publications is at times very dry and reads like a doctoral thesis Yet, the number of anecdotes and cool little factoids about the Christmas holiday is fascinating However, I have a sneaking feeling that Peter Ackroyd s defi [...]


    15. Received the book for Christmas and saw the movie a few days later The movie is thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining, accurately portraying Dickens s limitless energy it makes allusive reference to his financial dealings with his publishers and with his despair at his father s improvident mooching it is typically for the movies misleading about how writers write, and particularly about how Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol The book is far accurate than the movie, and in fact it is a fine overall [...]


    16. After reading and enjoying A Christmas Carol and Mr Dickens and His Carol by Samantha Silva last month, I wanted to read a biography about Charles Dickens, specifically what his life was like at the time he wrote A Christmas Carol This book was perfect for what I was looking to learn about Dickens We get a brief history of what his life was like as a child and where he drew much of his inspiration for his writing It was also interesting to learn what it was like publishing books back in the earl [...]


    17. This was a fascinating look at the history behind much of Dickens s writing, in particularly a Christmas Carol Also as a bonus, the historical recounting of Christmas celebrations and how they have evolved over he centuries in both Europe and North America was fascinating.


    18. All I have to say is that FINALLY I am done with this book And, in a nick of time too since our book club meeting is tomorrow evening I have to say that I really did not like this book I found it extremely hard to read, not engaging, and did not put me in the holiday spirit at all I basically had to make a deal with myself these last couple of days to read 25 pages of night to finish Unfortunately, I kept falling asleep which meant that I just slammed through the last 50 pages during naptime tod [...]


    19. The Man Who Invented Christmas, based on the book by Les StandifordThis is a charming film about a chapter in the life of the great, fascinating, radiant Charles DickensThe audience is also invited to explore parts of the childhood of the genius writer, who has suffered so much.His father John Dickens, the wondrous Jonathan Pryce in the picture, was sentenced to go to prison.In the film, this is a dual character, with a number of shortcomings, including an inclination to profit from the fame of [...]


    20. Although this is true for most authors it seems especially true for Dickens No one in the world ever could have written his canon And, sadly enough, his childhood struggles are at the heart of most of his writings His best characters overcome adversity in spite of because of hardship Their journies are forwardly navigated The I read of Dickens own journey, I see that his struggles didn t end when he met a modicum of success as a young writer His father never stopped trying to extort money from [...]


    21. I have to confess that I saw the movie first on this one The film made be curious about what was actually based on fact Since I had the book already I picked it up This is a fascinating study of the contradiction we know as Charles Dickens Although it s hard to believe he was ever not appreciated as a novelist, this book concentrates on a period when sales has slumped and financial woes had grown for Dickens Having spent a dreadful youth where he faced the wrath of being poor, he had a lifelong [...]


    22. An interesting look at how Charles Dickens singlehandedly increased the popularly of Christmas I ve studied the Victorian period quite extensively and it s my favorite time period because many of my favorite authors were writing at that time including my most favorite author of all time, Wilkie Collins who was a very good friend and frequent collaborator of Dickens.However, I m not the biggest fan of Dickens I know, I know bad English major He s considered the quintessential English novelist I v [...]


    23. The truth is I wanted to like this one a lot than I actually didE MAN WHO INVENTED CHRISTMAS by Les Standiford is the inspiration for the film of the same now starring Dan Stevens and Christopher Plummer From what I ve seen of the trailers, the film will be far enjoyable to me The novel spent way too much time in things other than the classic novel, A CHRISTMAS CAROL.It has already been well established that Dickens was on the downturn when he quickly penned this novella following his biggest [...]


    24. I really enjoyed this book I knew a little bit about Dicken s life, but not a lot This book was also partially biographical, so I got to see how the idea of A Christmas Carol was affected by Dicken s childhood I also didn t know that Dicken s hid deeper and serious messages under the guise of a short Christmas story Now that I think about it, that was really ingenious of him The story of A Christmas Carol has grown to be a big part of our Christmas, and I really loved reading about the history [...]


    25. Not particularly engaging backstory of the beloved classic The time probably would have been better spent re reading A Christmas Carol Lots of information about Victorian publishing, though, if that s your thing.


    26. An interesting read A few too many direct quotes I trust you, sir, just go ahead and summarize and the summary of A Christmas Carol was pretty unnecessary is anyone reading this book who isn t familiar with the story Good for learning about Charles Dickens in overview, but dealt with rather than just Christmas and A Christmas Carol I was expecting of a discussion about the standard of Christmas pre Dickens and post Dickens, but that actually took up relatively little of the book.


    27. Interesting look at Charles Dickens his A Christmas Carol I enjoyed reading this at Christmas, learning about his circumstances when writing it I need to read of his books Own


    28. Enjoyable read, learned many thing about Dickens, his life and literature Even Dickens had to self publish a time or two Interesting tidbits on copyright, publishing and making a living as a writer during his time.


    29. If you are a Dickens reader and have read one or of the many biographies that cover the wonderful Boz then you might scoff at this book Yes, it does cover some of the well plowed fields of Dickensian study, and yes its style is turned down from the voices of academia and research but, pause a moment What this little book does is give a good background and focus on how Christmas Victorian style came to be, and how its contents were able, in some way, to alter the course of our present day Christ [...]


    30. This was like a mini biography It was a nice little look into Dickens life around the time he wrote A Christmas Carol and a rather easy read.


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