Profs & Pints: How Dickens Invented Christmas
Profs and Pints presents: How Dickens Invented Christmas, with John Pfordresher, a professor of English at Georgetown University who has taught courses on Charles Dickens for 50 years.
Only an unrepentant Scrooge would say bah humbug to this evening with Professor John Pfordresher, who, along with extensively researching and teaching Charles Dickens, curated his university library's 2012 exhibition, Dickens at Georgetown.
We'll start our scholarly journey through time in December of 1843, just before a Christmas past. Chapman and Hall published a deluxe Christmas book by Dickens titled A Christmas Carol. Bound in cloth, with gilt edges, four color engravings and four more black-and-white wood cuts, and priced at a relatively low five shillings, it sold 6,000 copies before Christmas Eve. Critical response was largely rhapsodic. The already celebrated satirist William Makepeace Thackeray described the book as a national benefit and to every man or woman who reads it, a personal kindness.
Flash ahead to Christmas present. In the 176 years since its publication, this little book has achieved an unusual presence in western culture. The basis of many theater productions, films, and television shows, its characters, and some of their catch phrases, have entered in many ways into the ways that people celebrate the darkest days of the year and their hopes for brighter days ahead. Dickens, more than any other figure, transformed an old religious tradition into a season of compassionate care for those in need. The book emerged from his own indignation at the suffering of the poor he witnessed first-hand, and the callous indifference voiced by many of his contemporaries to those sufferings. Scrooge became the embodiment of a money-hungry capitalism Dickens had been attacking for years, and his radiant conversion became a model for a Christmas of personal generosity to others and convivial celebration of the pleasures of life.
Come hear Dickens and his immortal work discussed in a talk that will fill you with the spirit of Christmas present and looking forward to Christmases future. (Advance tickets: $12. Doors: $15, save $2 with a student ID. Listed time is for doors. Talk starts 30 minutes later. Please allow yourself time to place any orders and get seated and settled in.)
Social Circle Bistro at the Cambria Hotel-Washington DC Convention Center (View)
899 O Street NW
Washington, DC 20001
|Kid Friendly: Yes!|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|