“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year,” is Ebenezer Scrooge’s exclamation at the end of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, which was first published 172 years ago (Dec. 19, 1843). The wildly popular novella is credited with reforming the public image and celebration of Christmas to one of celebration and humanitarianism. While we don’t hold a copy of that first edition, Rare Books does have a later collection of Christmas stories, which features the revelry of Mr. Fezziwig’s party on the frontispiece:
Also included among the strong collection of Dickens materials in the OSU Libraries are three first edition novels in their original serialized formats (The Pickwick Papers, David Copperfield, and A Tale of Two Cities), two first edition serialized novels, bound after publication (Bleak House and Our Mutual Friend), and two collections of original Dickens periodicals (Master Humphrey’s Clock and Household Words).
Dickens’ classic can currently be viewed in two adaptations on the Columbus stage: Mr. Scrooge at the Columbus Children’s Theatre and A Christmas Carol at the Columbus Civic Theatre (both closing Dec. 20).
Want more Dickens? Don’t forget the annual Dickens events at Ohio Village (Ohio History Connection), or visit downtown Cambridge, Ohio during the holidays for an abundance of Dickens characters and scenes on display along the sidewalks. In fact, if you stop in at the welcome center to warm up you can slip into something more appropriate for the time period and take photos.