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Charles Dickens & The Invention of Christmas

BBC One

Griff Rhys Jones explores how English literary great, Charles Dickens, invented the idea of a traditional family Christmas with one of his best-known books, A Christmas Carol. From the moment the novel was published in 1843, the story of miserly Ebeneezer Scrooge captured the imagination of Victorian Britain. Santa Claus, Christmas-cards and crackers may have been invented around the same time, but it was Dickens’s novel which spread the idea that Christmas was best celebrated with the family.
Griff speaks to former on-screen Scrooge, Patrick Stewart, and writer Lucinda Hawksley- great-great-great-granddaughter of Charles Dickens himself, as he tries to understand why A Christmas Carol has remained such a well-loved classic to this day.

Produced and Directed: Paul Tizley
Executive Producer: Sam Organ
First transmitted Sunday 23rd December 2007 on BBC ONE

‘The sight of Griff Rhys Jones with the bit between his teeth is usually a stirring one… and so it was again here.’
The Telegraph

‘Lovely & Cuddly.’
The Guardian

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