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Exhibitions

29 November 2017 Start
25 February 2018 End
Tu-Su: 10.00 am - 5.00 pm Monday closed Time
UK Charles Dickens Museum, 48 Doughty Street London, WC1N 2LX

Tel.: 020 7405 2127
e-mail.: info@dickensmuseum.com

Ghost of an Idea: Unwrapping ‘A Christmas Carol’

Wednesday 29th November 2017 - Sunday 25th February 2018

Dickens’s novella, A Christmas Carol, is one of his best known and best loved works.  The circumstances that drove Dickens to write on Christian charity however are little known by the public. This exhibition  will  reveal  how  a  campaigning  article  about  the injustices  of  child  labour  turned  into  a  story  that  continues  to  inspire more  than  170  years  after  its publication.

Written in six weeks in the winter of 1843 to ensure publication before Christmas, A Christmas Carolsold 6,000 copies in the six days between its release and Christmas Eve that same year and has never been out of print since. Inspired by a damning parliamentary report and growing awareness of child poverty, the book follows Ebenezer Scrooge over the course of a tortuous night. At the time of publication, one critic declared it ‘a national benefit to every man and woman who reads it.’

The exhibition explores the inspiration behind the novella through artefacts such as the earliest hand-tinted etchings by John Leech for the first edition of A Christmas Carol in 1843, first editions of the story, playbills and presentation copies given by Dickens to his friends.

Unwrapping A Christmas Carol aims not only to examine the novella’s creation but its success, legacy, and continued enormous popularity. The exhibition will partner with the new film The Man Who  Invented Christmas, which opens in the UK on 1st December and stars Dan Stevens as Charles Dickens.

To mark the UK release of the film, which focuses on Dickens’s motivations for writing A Christmas Carol, the Museum will devote a section of the exhibition to original costumes and props from the film. Among the highlights will be the costumes worn by Dan Stevens, Ger Ryan as Elizabeth Dickens, and Dickens aficionado Simon Callow as John Leech.

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