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Remembrances of
Christmases Past
By Mark Bly

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A Christmas Carol illustration. Created by John Leech. Source: The Victorian Web.

Charles Dickens helped to create the Christmas Tale genre, but many writers before and after him were also drawn to create (with a wink and a nod to Marcel Proust) remembrances of Christmases past. There exists a diverse and unexpected array of prose and stage works that summon up the holiday spirits including: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby; Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women; Bret Harte’s How Christmas Came to Simpson’s Bar;  Dylan Thomas’s A Child’s Christmas in Wales; O. Henry’s The Gift of the Magi; Victor Hugo’s "Cosette"  in Les Miserables;  Washington Irving’s "The Christmas Dinner" in The Sketch Book; Harriet Beecher Stowe’s The Christmas Dinner”; Charles Dickens’s  "The Great Birthday" in Seven Poor Travelers; William Dean Howells’ Christmas Every Day and Other Stories Told for Children; Herman Melville’s Moby Dick; L. Frank Baum’s A Kidnapped Santa Claus; Hans Christian Andersen’s The Fir Tree; Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Diary of a Writer; Thomas Hardy’s Yuletide in a Younger World; Robert Louis Stevenson’s Markheim; Marcel Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past;  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Adventures of the Blue Carbuncle; and in the world of theatre two classics with actual Christmas trees on stage – Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House and Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman’s The Man Who Came to Dinner.



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