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Thank Dickens it's Christmas!

Christmas as we know it today owes so much to the influence of Charles Dickens and events are taking place across the United Kingdom to celebrate the life and work of the country’s most famous Victorian novelist.

FOC_Scrooge_-_Copy.jpgScrooge at Portsmouth Festival of Christmas

The Charles Dickens Museum in London, located in the Georgian terrace house where Dickens once lived and where he wrote Oliver Twist and a number of other novels, will be decorated for Christmas as Dickens would have known it. The museum will be hosting a number of festive events, including performances of Dickens’ Christmas ghost stories, a Christmas housemaid’s tour and a Dickens-themed party to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the publication of A Christmas Carol, hosted by Lucinda Dickens Hawksley, Charles’s great-great-great granddaughter.

The Charles Dickens Birthplace Museum in Portsmouth, on the south coast of England, will also be remembering the 175th anniversary of A Christmas Carol and, at the end of November, the town’s annual Festival of Christmas, which takes place at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, celebrated all things Dickensian, with classic Dickens characters, an Old Curiosity Shop and traditional stalls and refreshments.

FOC_Victory_-_Copy.jpgDickensian characters at Portsmouth Festival of Christmas

Gad’s Hill Place near Rochester in Kent was Dickens’ country home for the last thirteen years of his life, and where he worked on a number of his later novels. Rochester holds a Dickens Festival twice a year and the Dickensian Christmas Festival features Christmas parades, costumed balls, guided tours and a Christmas market.

Performances of A Christmas Carol are happening at theatres across the UK, including a new adaptation at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon. Leicester will see a unique musical version incorporating traditional midwinter folk tunes and carols, and an Edinburgh Christmas Carol is an adaptation of the famous story set in Victorian Edinburgh.

Popular at any time of year, performances of A Christmas Carol by Gerald Dickens, Charles’s great-great grandson, have received standing ovations all over the world. Gerald Dickens plays over 30 characters using his vocal and physical talents to bring the story to life, and in the run up to Christmas this year will be performing at a number of venues in the UK including Liverpool, Buxton and Newcastle.

vintage-1705150_1920_-_Copy.jpgA Christmas Carol

In 1858, Charles Dickens visited Shrewsbury and gave a public reading of A Christmas Carol to rapturous applause. To celebrate the 160th anniversary of this momentous event, actor John O’Connor faithfully recreated Dickens’ famous performance of his best loved ghost story.

Janet Redler, Chief Executive of Janet Redler Travel & Tourism, said: “The influence of Charles Dickens on our Christmas festivities cannot be over-estimated. Up and down the country, performances, festivals and celebrations are taking place which bring a Dickensian Christmas to life – so what better way to start the festive season than by enjoying a Dickens-inspired event on a winter tour of the UK?”

FOC_Father_Christmas_night_-_Copy.jpgMerry Christmas!

If you or your group would like to enjoy a Dickens-themed winter tour of the UK, please do contact our friendly team and we will put together a customised itinerary for you. 

Tags: Christmas  Charles Dickens  

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