Though Dickens didn't really invent Christmas, he did have a profound influence on it. Two professors at Kansas State University talk about the book's legacy, as reflected by other Christmas tales such as "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and "A Visit from St. Nicholas."
Smithsonian magazine has a feature about how A Christmas Carol reflects Dickens's own charitable mindset and efforts.
Michael Caine talks to GQ about why he did A Muppet Christmas Carol, and his and his family's enduring love for the movie.
On a somber note, I don't generally like to put thoughts in his head, but something tells me that Dickens would be furious about a family being unfairly harassed over the cancellation of a Christmas Carol play.
To end on a more hopeful note, A Christmas Carol inspired these students to collect donations for 150 children in need.
An article in the Independent gives details of Dickens's long involvement with the hospital and the various ways that he raised support for it, including "a disguised advertisement" in Our Mutual Friend.
I was intrigued to learn that British writer and historian Lauren Johnson has written a play about Dickens's friend Angela Burdett-Coutts, titled Lady Unknown. (That was also the title of a biography of Burdett-Coutts.) The play has been performed at the Charles Dickens Museum.
"She deserve to be remembered and celebrated," says Johnson of the Victorian heiress and philanthropist who worked closely with Dickens on several charitable efforts. I couldn't agree more.
The new website The Pigeonhole is serializing Great Expectations in weekly installments. A subscription is free (they'll send you a link to download their reading app), and there will be bonus material on the site every week (essays, Q&As, and so forth). At the end, subscribers will be asked for donations, half of which will go to the Dickens Museum. Go here to find out more and to sign up!
This summer, 50 benches inspired by great literary works were placed around London by Books about Town. On Tuesday, at the Southbank Centre, they'll be auctioned off to raise money for the National Literacy Trust. MaryAnn Johanson at Flick Filosopher has some good closeups of the Great Expectations bench!
Forty years ago, Monica Dickens, great-granddaughter of Charles Dickens, founded the first U.S. branch of the Samaritans, an organization that provides emotional support to those in distress. Monica's daughter Prudence Stratton attended their "Breakfast for Hope" benefit that marked the anniversary.