Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Man Who Invented Christmas by Les Standiford

There's no Bah Humbug in these pages. This behind the scenes look at A Christmas Carol will entertain all fans of the holiday classic. You'll be treated to some interesting facts too.

Did you know this about Christmas:
  • Pope Julius I created the holiday in the 4th century to draw Romans to the Church who celebrated Saturnalia.
  • The holiday was banned in Massachusetts during colonial days.
  • Charles Dickens rescued his career when he wrote A Christmas Carol and gave new life to the holiday.
If these facts intrigue you, then I suggest adding, The Man Who Invented Christmas by Les Standiford to your list of books. I felt inspired by Dickens and how he showed guts and an entrepreneurial spirit during a tough time in his life (something we can all relate to in today's economy).
Faced with bankruptcy, he (Dickens) was contemplating giving up writing fiction altogether. Instead, he pulled himself together and, in six short weeks, wrote a book that not only restored him in the eyes of the public but began the transformation of what was then a second-tier holiday into the most significant celebration of the Christian calendar (page 6).
In a rare move for an author, Dickens became responsible for the costs of production, which would be deducted from sales. The publisher who was not interested in some Christmas book "dashed off on the quick" would simply become its printer.

The gamble paid off and A Christmas Carol remains one of the most popular stories of the holiday season.

Standiford's writing could use some editing and adding a synopsis of A Christmas Carol in the middle seemed rather odd (it would be rare to find someone not familiar with Scrooge).

On the whole it's a good read and one I recommend for Christmas aficionados.

Rob's Grade: A B C D

Note: I found a great deal on this book last year and purchased mine through Strand Bookstore on-line.

The Man Who Invented Christmas by Les Standiford, Crown Publishers, copyright 2008.

1 comment:

  1. I think I'll keep an eye out for this one. I've been on the fence about Christmas since I learned the truth about it's origin several years ago.


Aloha! Thanks for taking time to talk story. Your comment will be posted soon.

Ho'ola'i na manu i ke aheahe

"The birds poise quietly in the gentle breeze."
Said of those who are at peace with the world, undisturbed and contented.