Tag: a christmas carol

Image Via The Daily Beast

Lost Charles Dickens Portrait to Go on Display!

The infamous lost portrait of Charles Dickens, painted over the span of six sittings in 1843 when Dickens was starting his most infamous story of all time, A Christmas Carol, is set to go on display in his curated home in April. This event is part of an endeavor by the Charles Dickens museum to raise enough funds to purchase the painting.

The Guardian writes that “[a]fter its publication, the portrait was exhibited at the 1844 Royal Academy summer exhibition”, but in 1886, sixteen years after Dickens’ death in 1870, quotes Gilles as saying she had “lost sight of the portrait itself”.

“Have you seen this portrait?” was the question asked for a hundred-and-seventy-four years.

The lost portrait of Charles Dickens at the age of 31, painted by Margaret Gillies, was lost for 174 years.

Image Via CNN

Well, someone did.

Lifestyle reports that “the portrait was sold for £27 (about $36) in an auction of household goods in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, as part of a tray of trinkets. The finder originally bought it to sell the frame.”

Come early 2018, however, the buyers saw what they had. Even through the mold, they saw the same eyes that struck poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning and caused her to say, “the dust and mud of humanity about him, notwithstanding those eagle eyes.”

Just to be sure, they sent the piece to London to be authenticated.

Inside the Philip Mould & Company building

Image Via 4D Projects

Art dealer Philip Mould of Philip Mould & Company authenticated the piece and told CNN that, “It was electrifying when it first came into the gallery, even though it was obscured by mold”.

Portrait found, end of story. Well, it’s not that simple.

Charles Dickens at his desk, head in hand

Image Via PBS

The Charles Dickens Museum is looking to secure the portrait for its permanent collection, bringing it back to London to be put on permanent public display.

The portrait has a price tag: £180,000 ($238,921.56).

Asking the public for donations (link available here), the museum has so far raised £65,000 ($86,277.23).

With around 36% of funding raised, they’re getting there but it’s far from close. That’s actually why this display is happening. The museum has struck a deal, releasing a statement that says this stunning eagle-eyed miniature portrait “will be displayed from 2-7 April in the Study at 48 Doughty Street, the room in which Dickens wrote Oliver TwistNicholas Nickleby, completed The Pickwick Papers and began Barnaby Rudge.”

This attraction might hopefully give the museum a push, if not a full fledged blast, to the finish line. Either way, the Dicken’s miniature will be right back home above the desk where those magnificent and classic works of literature were constructed with the might pen itself.

A map of how to get to the Charles Dickens Museum by foot

Image Via Free Tours by Foot

I might just have to take a flight to Holborn, London.

 

Featured Image Via The Daily Beast

"A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens"

A Christmas Carol Turns 175 Years Old

 

 

On December 19th, 1843, a Novella, A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas or more commonly known as A Christmas Carol was published. Written by Charles Dickens and illustrated by John Leech, the famous yuletide tale this year marks its 175th anniversary.

 

This classic Christmas tale recounts the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a rich and successful but miserly old man. On the Christmas Eve, his clerk, Bob Cratchit, shivers because Scrooge refuses to spend money on coals for a fire. Scrooge’s nephew pays him a visit and invites him to an annual Christmas party he and his family are hosting, and Scrooge bitterly declines. Two gentleman drop in later that day to ask Scrooge for a contribution to their charity. Scrooge angrily refuses their request and denounces any and all Christmas cheer. Later that night as he is sitting by a warm and cozy fire in his house, he is visited by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and three other spirits: The Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come. All through the night, these spirits haunt Ebenezer Scrooge, and show him the error of his ways. After that night, Scooge is transformed into a kinder, gentler man.

 

ghost of Christmas past

Image via Independent.uk.co 

 

In the middle of the 19th century, Dickens was witnessed the abject poverty of working class children in England, and was  outraged by the amount of children working in appalling conditions in factories, workhouses and as chimney sweeps. The suffering he witnessed was then reinforced when he visited the Field Lane Ragged School, one of several of London’s industrial schools/orphanages where the children were half-starved and uneducated.

 

In a fundraising speech on October 5th, 1843, Dickens urged workers and employers to join him in fighting against the child labor. He then realized in the days after that an effective way to reach a wide audience and spread his message about poverty and injustice was to write a deep and meaningful Christmas narrative rather than writing pamphlets and essays.

 

The Novel was a best-seller in both England and the United States, but because there were no international copyright laws in those times yet, Dickens didn’t make any money when he sold the American editions. In 1867, Dickens arrived at New York and on December 9, 1867 he was able to read A Christmas Carol at a public reading – which in fact was sold out.

 

jim carrey

Image via movieposters2.com

 

Ever since, this classic Christmas tale has been adapted into different versions of entertainment from films to plays to a children’s movie. The first film adaptation was in 1901. Jim Carey voiced the scrooge in the 2009 animated version of A Christmas Carol and is played on kids channels every year around Christmas time. There were rumors that parents used the ghosts of Christmas past as a way to scare their kids into behaving all year.

 

 

a christmas carol play

Image via whitelight.ltd.uk

 

The novella was adapted to the stage almost immediately after publication and had been adapted to other forms of media, including opera, ballet, a Broadway musical, and a BBC mime production. Almost every year, Broadway casts the play in December and it usually sells out pretty quickly along with the Trans Siberian Orchestra.

 

Featured Image Via Pulsd