Book Review: The Christmas Books by Charles Dickens

The Blurb:

“Dickens’ definitive Christmas tales including A Christmas Carol and four other stories are collected in a beautifully produced small hardback with embossed covers on the front and back. The Christmas Books were first published in a single volume in 1852, bringing together five stories which Charles Dickens wrote specially for the Christmas season, beginning in 1843 with A Christmas Carol. Over the next three years Dickens published “The Chimes,” “The Cricket on the Hearth,” and “The Battle of Life.” There was no story in 1847 but a fifth, “The Haunted Man,” appeared in 1848. The Christmas Books, and in particular A Christmas Carol, are considered so influential that they are credited with inventing our modern notion of Christmas itself.”



The Book Whisperer thinks:


Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol is one of my favourite books of all time. I didn’t read it until I was in my 30’s – I don’t know how it managed to pass me by but I suspect that it had a lot to do with the many dodgy TV adaptations that turned me off over the years.

Written in 1843, A Christmas Carol tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge: old, miserly and grumpy. He counts his money but never uses any of it to help what little family he has left and he lives a lonley and desolate life. One Christmas Eve, upon returning to his cold and miserable house after work, he is greeted by the ghost of Jacob Marley, his business partner of equal character to Scrooge and who died seven years previously. Marly tells Scrooge that if he doesn’t change his ways, he is destined to a rather firey afterlife.

The joy of reading this book, for me, came from the imigary so beautifully created by Dickens. I love my cosy books – cosy mysteries, chick-lit anything that warms my heart – but this book surpasses them all.


“”… along the streets, the brightness of the roaring fires in kitchens, parlours, and all sorts of rooms, was wonderful. Here, the flickering of the blaze showed preparations for a cosy dinner, with hot plates baking through and through before the fire, and deep red curtains, ready to be drawn, to shut out cold and darkness.”


Dickens takes us on a journey through Victorian London with Scrooge and his encountered ghosts (of Christmas past, present and future) and and creates a magical, funny, sad and heartwarming tale that will surely be as treasured by future generations as it has been by families for the last 170 years.

I was sent this gorgeous copy of the book (published by Whites) by Riot Communiations (and also a copy of the Jane Eyre book as they knew it was my favourite books – thank you!). I haven’t actually read Dickens’ other christmas books yet but I fully intend to curl up with them a few days before Christmas this year as a real treat.


Jane Eyre


Have you read any of Charles Dickens’ Christmas books?


9 thoughts on “Book Review: The Christmas Books by Charles Dickens

  1. I only read A Christmas Carol for the first time last year. Isn’t that bad? It also contains Chimes, but I either didn’t read it or it didn’t stuck.

    I’m almost done with Winter Solstice by Pilcher and gee, I AM getting into the Christmas mood, a little. If only I had a mince pie or two…. But can’t get them here.


    • I read Winter Solstice a few years ago and loved it! I was hoping to reread it this year although it looks like I’m not going to have time. I’m excited to see what you think of it!


  2. Judith, I only read it about 6 years ago for the first time – I swear it’s those awful TV adaptations that put people off!

    HURRAY!!! You’re starting to feel christmassy! Woop woop! Can’t wait to hear what you think of Winter Solstace – I have mine lined up for next week 🙂


  3. Funny! I just posted on someone else’s blog that it’s my favourite Christmas story of all time, too! I grew up watching and reading and listening to it, all the way to university. Now I still read it but not every year anymore. I have about 4 or 5 editions of it. My favourites are the one illustrated by Arthur Rackham and the one illustrated by Robert Ingpen. I have the other stories but haven’t read all of them yet. My edition of The Haunted Man is an antique! I’ll bet you can find gorgeous ones in England, where I noticed you guys tend to have more precious stuff floating around than we seem to.

    This one you’ve posted, I like the looks of it, and the Jane Eyre you show as well! In fact, I’ve been really appreciating British editions lately. I love that we order them into the shop. The latest one I bought is Louis de Bernières’ Notwithstanding.


    • I bet that illustrated one is gorgeous, Steph! I have a copy too that has colour pictures in and I love it. I must admit that I do have about 6 copies of Jane Eyre in various editions – if I see a different cover or an old edition then I buy it 🙂


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