Did Charles Dickens Invent Christmas?

12/07/2010 03:39 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • guardian.co.uk

Although Charles Dickens is frequently credited with inventing Christmas and a whole new literary genre with a certain 1843 novella about Ebenezer Scrooge, four ghosts and a little boy called Tiny Tim, this is not entirely accurate. A Christmas Carol was by no means the first literary representation of what we have come to recognise as a traditional festive season. But Dickens's most adapted text has indubitably shaped the way in which we think about and celebrate the festive season today, and its archetypal resonance has ensured that it remains relevant nearly 170 years after its publication.

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