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How Dickens Helped Bring Christmas to Boston

How Dickens Helped Bring Christmas to Boston   Wednesday, November 30th at 2PM

Readings and performances of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” have played an integral part in winter holiday festivities since longer than most of us can remember. What fewer people know, however, is that the British literary superstar and his popular novella actually helped bring Christmas back to Boston.

In this beautifully illustrated PowerPoint, Susan Wilson—the Official House Historian of the Parker House—traces the history of Christmas celebrations, which were discouraged and even banned in the Puritan stronghold of colonial Boston. Wilson explains how and why Christmas finally began to be embraced in the mid 19th century, and how Charles Dickens’ arrival in 1867—when he made his home at the Parker House for 5 months—really added fuel to the yule log.

Below left:  Historian Susan Wilson with Dickens’ great grandson, Gerald Charles Dickens.  Right: Author Charles Dickens