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

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Synopsis

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 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.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Les Standiford

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Les Standiford is the author of ten novels, including the John Deal series, and two works of nonfiction, including Last Train to Paradise. He wrote a chapter of Naked Came the Manatee, and edited The Putt at the End of the World, a collective novel of golf.
 
Published October 28, 2008 by Crown. 258 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel, Literature & Fiction, Religion & Spirituality. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Man Who Invented Christmas

Kirkus Reviews

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The author easily, graciously and repeatedly acknowledges his debt to the heavy lifting of other scholars, principally biographer Peter Ackroyd (Dickens, 1990) and indefatigable literary historian Michael Patrick Hearn (The Annotated Christmas Carol, 2003).

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The New York Times

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If only Ebenezer Scrooge had not, in the excitement of his transformation from miser to humanitarian, diverged from the traditional Christmas goose to surprise Bob Cratchit with a turkey “twice the size of Tiny Tim.” But — alas — he did, and as “A Christmas Carol” approaches its 165th birthday, a...

Dec 05 2008 | Read Full Review of The Man Who Invented Christma...

The New York Times

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Over a feverish six weeks in 1843, Charles Dickens wrote “A Christmas Carol” and, this book argues, reinvented the holiday itself.

Dec 07 2008 | Read Full Review of The Man Who Invented Christma...

Publishers Weekly

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Standiford (The Last Train to Paradise ) covers an impressive amount of ground, from the theological underpinnings of Christmas to Dickens's rocky relations with America, evolving copyright laws and an explanation of how A Christmas Carol became responsible for the slaughter of more turkeys than...

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Christian Science Monitor

Certainly, Standiford points out, “There were no Christmas cards in 1843 England, no Christmas trees ...

Dec 19 2010 | Read Full Review of The Man Who Invented Christma...

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