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November 3, 2017 to January 14, 2018

The Morgan Library & Museum
225 Madison Avenue at 36th Street
New York, NY 10016

The Morgan Library and Museum

Charles Dickens and the Spirit of Christmas

During his life, Charles Dickens (1812–1870) acquired the kind of celebrity accorded only to international film stars today. That status was secured with the publication of A Christmas Carol, one of the most beloved holiday stories of all time—and one of the Morgan’s greatest literary manuscripts. Its immediate success in 1843 led to four equally popular Christmas novellas in as many years. Catapulting the author out of his study and onto the reading circuit in 1853, its universal popularity also had major consequences for Dickens.

Charles Dickens and the Spirit of Christmas assembles, for the first time, all five manuscripts of Dickens’s Christmas books—A Christmas Carol (1843), The Chimes (1844), The Cricket on the Hearth (1845), The Battle of Life (1846), and The Haunted Man (1848)—to explore the genesis, composition, publication, and reception of A Christmas Carol, and its impact on Dickens’s life. This exhibition explores the personal and socio-political sources of inspiration for A Christmas Carol, Dickens’s method of composition, and the motivations behind writing one of the most famous, enduring, and widely adapted stories in all of literature.