Dickens & the Victorian Christmas Book

December 13, 2023


Talk by Professor Dinah Birch, CBE – Emeritus Professor, University of Liverpool, Wednesday 13 December, 2023, BRLSI Queen Square, Bath.

The Victor Suchar Christmas Lecture 2023

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol (1843) is among the most celebrated works of Victorian fiction, with its compelling story of the grasping Ebenezer Scrooge and the three terrifying ghosts who transform his life. This talk explores the lasting significance of A Christmas Carol in the context of other books that Dickens wrote for the Christmas market, and will also examine the wider tradition of the Victorian Christmas book as it developed to reflect and sometimes to challenge the values of a rapidly-changing society.

Professor Dinah Birch, CBE – Emeritus Professor, University of Liverpool Dinah Birch is Emeritus Professor of English Literature at the University of Liverpool. As Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Cultural Engagement at the University she was responsible for the University’s wide-ranging programme of cultural activities. She has published widely on Victorian fiction and poetry, and on the work of the artist and critic John Ruskin. Her books include Ruskin’s Myths (1988) and Our Victorian Education (2008), and she is the General Editor of the Oxford Companion to English Literature (2009). She has published editions of Elizabeth Gaskell’s Cranford (2011), Anthony Trollope’s Can You Forgive Her? (2012) and The Small House at Allington (2014) with Oxford University Press, together with recent essays on George Eliot, Anthony Trollope, and John Ruskin. She writes regularly for the Times Literary Supplement, contributes to Melvyn Bragg’s In Our Time and Sky Arts documentary broadcasts, and has served as a judge on the Booker Prize panel.

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