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Holiday cheer from Dickens era on display

by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 11/22/19, 10:55 am

Visitors to the Charles Dickens Museum in London can see one of the world’s first printed Christmas cards, created in 1843, the same year Dickens published A Christmas Carol. This particular card, sent to “My very dear Father and Mother” from “Their loving son, Joe,” is one of about 21 remaining from the original print run of 1,000.

What spurred the creation of the greeting? Henry Cole designed the card, which features an illustration by John Callcott Horsley of people enjoying Christmas dinner, as part of the burgeoning holiday industry alongside Dickens’ book. The museum will display it in its “Beautiful Books: Dickens and the Business of Christmas” exhibit through April 19. Today, Americans alone send about 1.3 billion Christmas cards each year, Hallmark estimates.

Dig deeper: From the WORLD archives, read Andrée Seu Peterson’s reflections on Dickens’ classic work.


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Rachel Lynn Aldrich

Rachel is an assistant editor for WORLD Digital. Follow Rachel on Twitter @Rachel_Lynn_A.

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