Charles Dickens and his iconic story A Christmas Carol have become synonymous with Christmas celebrations, however a special holiday exhibition at the Charles Dickens Museum in London demonstrates that his connection to the holiday season is not all candy canes and cheesy cards.
Beautiful Books: Dickens and the Business of Christmas presents an exceptional selection of Dickens rare books, including a unique “trial” edition of A Christmas Carol with illustrations by John Leech predating the December 19, 1843 first edition, one of which is also there. In addition, visitors will also find first editions of his other Christmas stories, including The Chimes (1844), The Cricket on the Hearth (1845), Battle of Life (1846), and The Haunted Man (1848), all cloth bound with gilt edges, decorative endpapers, and vignette title pages. There are also examples of the first Christmas card created in 1843 by Henry Cole and illustrated by John Callot Horsley (see above), engravings by Dickens’ frequent collaborator Hablot Knight Browne, various Christmas Victoriana, and stunning jeweled books with bindings by Sangorski and Sutcliffe.
The show runs through April, 2020.