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Born: October 10, 1982
Croydon, Surrey, England, UK
Born: February 7, 1812
Birthplace: Landport, Hampshire, England, UK
Death: June 9, 1870, Higham, Kent, England, UK (stroke)
Sketched in 1842
Catherine "Kate" Dickens
Born: May 19, 1815
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Death: November 22, 1879, London, England, UK (cancer)
Sketched in 1838
Born: June 1, 1947
Holywell, Flintshire, Wales, UK
Born: August 21, 1785
Death: March 31, 1851 (urethral infection)
Born: December 21, 1789
Death: September 13, 1863
Born: June 13, 1949
London, England, UK
Born: August 29, 1817
Birthplace: London, England, UK
Death: October 29, 1864, London, England, UK
Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England, UK
Born: April 2, 1812
Birthplace: Newcastle upon Tyne, England, UK
Death: February 2, 1876
Born: October 2, 1950
Basingstoke, Hampshire, England, UK
Born: January 13, 1804
Death: February 1880, Elm Lodge, Hitchin, England, UK
Relationship: Co-Founder of Chapman & Hall, Publishers
Yes. When Charles Dickens was 12 years old, his financially irresponsible father, John Dickens, was forced by his creditors to go to the Marshalsea debtors' prison in Southwark, London. Charles's mother and younger siblings joined him there while Charles went to stay with Elizabeth Roylance, an impoverished elderly friend of the family who lived in Camden Town. John Dickens was released from debtors' prison roughly three months later after his paternal grandmother died and left him £450, which gave him the means to pay his creditors.
The Man Who Invented Christmas true story reveals that John Dickens financial troubles didn't end when he was released from debtor's prison. After his son Charles found success as a writer, John would often go to Charles's publishers asking for loans. Eventually, Charles moved his parents away from London to the country, but his father still sent messages to his son's publishers asking for money. They moved back to London after a short time.
In researching the accuracy of The Man Who Invented Christmas, we learned that Charles Dickens met Catherine Hogarth in 1835. At the time, he was working mostly as a political journalist for the Morning Chronicle, a London newspaper. Catherine's father, George Hogarth, was the paper's music critic and editor of the recently launched evening edition, aptly titled the Evening Chronicle. He asked Dickens to contribute Street Sketches. As they worked together, Dickens became a regular visitor to George's Fulham house. Dickens liked visiting because George was friends with Walter Scott, a novelist and hero of Dickens's. He also liked the company of George's three daughters, Georgina, Mary, and Catherine, 19.
In exploring The Man Who Invented Christmas true story, we learned that Charles and Catherine Dickens had a total of ten children, with the first, Charley, born in January 1837. Catherine was pregnant with their fifth child while Charles was writing A Christmas Carol.
Yes. At the time he was writing A Christmas Carol in 1843, his previous works were not earning much. He hadn't had a hit since 1838's Oliver Twist. He was overspending and struggling to make ends meet. One of his most popular literary failures was his historical novel Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of Eighty, which was published in his 1840-1841 weekly serial Master Humphrey's Clock. Edgar Allan Poe wrote a less-than flattering review of the novel for Graham's Magazine, saying that the raven in Barnaby Rudge should have been more symbolic in meaning. Ironically, Grip the raven is what inspired Poe to pen his most well-known poem, "The Raven."
Yes. Like in the movie, he was often swept up in the emotion of the story as it unfolded. Dickens wrote that he "wept and laughed, and wept again" as he "walked about the back streets of London fifteen or twenty miles many a night when all sober folks had gone to bed."
The movie is based on Les Standiford's 2008 non-fiction book The Man Who Invented Christmas: How Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol Rescued His Career and Revived Our Holiday Spirits. The book traces the writing and enduring legacy of Dickens's classic Christmas story, including its significant influence on the holiday as we know it today. Included in the revised version of the New York Times Best-Seller is Charles Dickens's iconic story A Christmas Carol.
Yes. Like Christopher Plummer's role as the fictional Scrooge, who in the film is inspired by the rich, grumpy old man who Dickens hears exclaiming, "Humbug!", it is well known that many of Dickens's characters were inspired by people in his life. For example, his first love, Maria Beadnell, is thought to have inspired the character Dora in his semi-autobiographical novel David Copperfield. His wife Catherine's younger sister Mary was the basis for Rose Maylie in Oliver Twist. He depicted his father, John Dickens, in the character of Wilkins Micawber in David Copperfield. As for Scrooge, the character is believed to have been inspired by several people, most notably the eccentric miserly moneylender John Elwes.
Yes. Similar to Scrooge in the story, Dickens claimed that the characters he invented would haunt his waking hours, and in many ways tell him what to write. However, the movie takes this quite literally and mimics the story he is creating by turning his characters into actual spirits that provide him with his ideas. This bit of fiction seems to somewhat detract from Dickens's genius as a writer, implying that his ideas were not of his own accord. In the least, Dickens did comment that the characters in his stories were more real to him than the people in his life.
Yes. Dickens was frustrated with his publishers, Chapman and Hall, over how little money he had made from his recent book Martin Chuzzlewit. With a mortgage payment due and a fifth child on the way, Dickens decided to self-publish A Christmas Carol. The book endured production problems and ended up costing him more than he'd anticipated, which diminished his initial profits. It was released during the Christmas season of 1843, December 19 to be exact, and the initial run of 6,000 copies sold out by Christmas Eve. Despite his first printing selling out, he earned only £137 of an expected £1000. -Mental Floss
No. In 1857, Dickens fell in love with Ellen Ternan, one of the professional actresses he had hired to star in the play The Frozen Deep, written by Dickens and Wilkie Collins, his protégé. Ellen, 19, was 27 years his junior. Dickens and Catherine separated but did not divorce, as it was still unthinkable for someone that famous. His passion for Ellen is said to have lasted up until his death, but the extent of their affair is not known, since Ellen destroyed all of their correspondence in a bonfire, with Dickens destroying many of his personal letters in the fire too, sparing only business letters.
No. He followed 1843's A Christmas Carol with four other Christmas stories, The Chimes (1844), The Cricket on the Hearth (1845), The Battle of Life (1846), and The Haunted Man and the Ghost's Bargain (1848).
Broaden your knowledge of The Man Who Invented Christmas true story by watching the short documentary below.