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Gresham College: Prof. Michael Slater – The Founder of the Feast? Dickens and Christmas


Professor Michael Slater

Professor Michael Slater MBE is currently Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies, University of London, having been at Birkbeck until his retirement from teaching in 2001.

About this lecture

Dickens is often credited with virtually inventing Christmas as we now know

it and is in any case strongly identified with this festival. This is primarily owing to the immense and enduring popularity of his first ‘Christmas Book’, A Christmas Carol. In Prose (1843), but his subsequent seasonal offerings during the following quarter-century also contributed to this result. In this lecture I shall be looking at both contemporary and later responses to Dickens’s Christmas writings, and considering the extent to which he can be seen as the creator of the modern Christmas.

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