1 December 2020 Susannah

My pleasure in giving

The Cratchit family celebrate on Christmas Day.

Charles Dickens wrote his classic Christmas story A Christmas Carol in only six weeks. The story was hugely important to him and he was so fussy about its binding and appearance (for which he paid himself) that he made almost no money from the work. It became not just a story about a miser who has no interest in the festive season, but a phenomenon, influencing charitable donations, the way in which Christmas was celebrated from that time on, and the name of its main character became a word in the dictionary.

Scrooge learns many lessons in the course of the tale, and one of them is that there is a real pleasure in giving, especially when you are giving to those who have been good to you. Well, I’m following the reformed Scrooge’s example and I have a gift for you.

My gift to my wonderful readers

I have prepared a video talk about Dickens and his wonderful story, and I am giving it to you to say thank you for being loyal and supportive readers of my newsletter.

It’s also to say a very big THANKS to all of you who have supported me during this very difficult year by buying my video talks, booking my zoom talks, and subscribing to the 2020 Readers Guides programme. I am extremely grateful to you, as it has been your support which has kept me going. You, metaphorically-speaking, have put the goose on my Christmas table this year!

So, here’s the link and password for the full talk. Just click, enter the password, sit back and enjoy 54 minutes of fascinating insight into this phenomenon.

Susannah Fullerton: Charles Dickens and A Christmas Carol Video Talk
Password: scrooge

Why don’t you send this link and password to your friends and family as a little extra stocking stuffer? Feel free share it around.

Is this a favourite Christmas story in your family? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.

Leave a comment.

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Featured image credit- Martha Griffin (Remmie Milner), Mary Cratchit (Vinnette Robinson), Bob Cratchit (Joe Alwyn), and Tim Cratchit (Lenny Rush) celebrate on Christmas Day, from https://mashable.com/article/fx-a-christmas-carol-review/
Body image credit- Jim Carrey as Ebenezer Scrooge, 2009 Walt Disney Pictures computer-animated adaptation, https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1067106/

Comments (22)

  1. Phil

    Thanks Susannah, that is SO nice. I will organise to listen to it with my husband, who isn’t well. It will be an extra Xmas treat!

    • Susannah Fullerton

      I do hope you both enjoy it, Phil, and that he gets better soon.
      Merry Christmas!

  2. Heather Grant

    Thank you Susannah. That is indeed very kind and generous of you and is greatly appreciated. I will definitely pass it onto likewise friends who just may subscribe to your Monthly Newsletters and hopefully your Literary Readers Guide as well as your Travel, Tea and Talks. I’m in the process of liaising with a friend of mine who lives in Northern California, to take part next year in the latter. I admire what you have accomplished in this horrendous year. Instead of whinging about it (like Rugby League players to name one) you have gone and thought outside the square. Wonderful! You are a star!

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Oh what a lovely comment to read at the start of the day! Many thanks, Heather. I do hope you and your friend in the USA join the Tea with a Book Addict series, and so get her to sign up for my newsletter if she is a keen reader. I do so appreciate your comments and support at the end of what has been a very challenging year.

      • Heather Grant

        My friend in the States, Georgie Hall who lives in Susanville, already subscribes to your Monthly Newsletters and thoroughly enjoys them. She wouldn’t have received your December Monthly Newsletter until sometime in the last 12 hours so I’m waiting on her reply to my email request … I’m sure she will participate.

  3. Brian Doyle

    Thank you Susannah for what I know will be my favourite Christmas gift this year and with that in mind I intend to unwrap it on Christmas Eve and luxuriate in it’s pleasures surrounded by all my Christmas decorations twinkling away in the dark.
    A very challenging and difficult year is hopefully giving way to a much brighter 2021 which will be illuminated even more brightly by all of efforts on behalf of all your many devotees Susannah who are anxiously awaiting your every utterance, I know I am. Wishing you and all your loved ones the very happiest of Christmases Susannah, full of delightful surprises yummy treats and books arriving in gaily decorated wheelbarrows.
    Warmest wishes

    • Susannah Fullerton

      That sounds a lovely plan! I hope you have a nice glass of wine and perhaps a mince pie to go with the watching.
      Thanks for your kind words, Brian. It has been a challenging year, but I’ve learned some new skills and managed to read a fair few books, so all is not lost. Do feel free to share the Dickens video talk with anyone you think might like it. We all need some Christmas cheer. Merry Christmas and may 2021 be a vast improvement on this year.

      • Anne Prior

        Thank you Susannah for this lovely gift & especially for the marvellous Zoom talks which kept me sane & delighted in our endless Melbourne Lockdown. It was a year to remember in so many ways not least of them enjoying your marvellous talks frequently. I look forward to more Zooms with you in 2021. Best wishes,
        Anne Prior

        • Susannah Fullerton

          Thanks for your kind comments, Anne. I am so glad you enjoyed the zoom talks and do hope you will join me in 2021 for my ‘Tea with a Book Addict’ series – 12 zoom lectures (plus a video talk version of the same talk for you to keep and watch at your leisure) which will take you around the world with different books.
          Merry Christmas and let’s hope 2021 is a much better year than this one has been.

  4. Margaret Debenham

    Dear Susannah, thank you so much for that delightful Christmas gift – a lovely hour (almost) spent with those wonderful Dickensian creations and the richly drawn and vividly coloured worlds they inhabit. And some gorgeous photos of some sights we would have seen had the Literary Landscapes tour been able to go ahead this year (sigh!). Also a reminder of some of the excellent BBC (mostly) adaptations of many of the books (I think it’s time for revisiting the Claire Foy “Little Dorrit”). I do find Dickens a puzzle – so much humanity and empathy in the books, and yet so little shown towards his wife (and, to a lesser extent, his children), the extent to which everything had to revolve around him and accord with his wishes and his views. A very complex character indeed.

    To be non-Dickensian for a moment, I have just finished reading Tim Keymer’s “Jane Austen: writing, society, politics” (no doubt you know it) which I thoroughly enjoyed. While much has been written about Jane’s writing, I found this scholarly but very readable, and very thoughtful in its analyses of each of the novels. And he obviously has the highest regard for Jane’s talents, so definitely a very satisfying read!

    I wish you and your family a very happy Christmas. Once again many thanks for your lovely present, and I look forward to Literary Landscapes 2022 (so long to wait!).

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Thanks so much for your lovely comments, Margaret. I am delighted you enjoyed the Dickens talk. Yes, isn’t he a fascinating mixture. I think he suffered a terrible mid-life crisis and was just so cruel to poor Catherine. And I would not have liked to be one of his children. I love the Claire Foy Little Dorrit – one of the best adaptations.
      I loved the Tom Keymer book – so well written in an accessible style and yet full of insights. This last year or two has produced some fabulous new books about JA.
      It is horrid having to wait for tours to England. I find myself watching BBC dramas just so I can see the English scenery. But no doubt it will come around all too quickly.
      I do hope you will consider joining me for ‘virtual’ travel with my exciting new series, ‘Tea with a Book Addict’ next year. In the meantime, happy Christmas and let’s hope 2021 is a wonderful and healthy year for us all.

  5. lyn browne

    hi Susannah, from ‘just out of Lockdown 2’ England. What a generous Christmas present for us all! I have so enjoyed your Dickens talk. What a mystery the man is. Such wonderfully rich characters, and you can’t help being touched by the awful situations he relates. Yet he seems to have been a hard stick, awful to his wife, and very little sympathy for his children.
    Ah well – I enjoy Thomas Hardy’s novels too, but there again, what a difficult man he must have been.
    Best wishes from a frosty England. I will hope to return to Australia some time next year, once tourist visas are allowed.
    Happy Christmas!
    Lyn Browne

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Lyn, I am delighted you enjoyed my Dickens talk. Yes, he was a complex and sometimes unpleasant man, and yet what a writer!
      We hope you can soon return to Australia. I am hugely missing my trips to England and find myself watching BBC dramas just so I can see the English scenery.

  6. Rhonda Brown

    Dear Susannah,
    Thank you so much for your lovely gift of the Charles Dickens talk. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the novel and listening to your insightful lecture.
    Your generous gift is exactly what Christmas is all about for me. Thanking people for their support throughout the year and giving to others.
    I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a safe and brighter 2021.
    Kind regards

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Thanks for your lovely message, Rhonda. I am so glad you enjoyed the talk. Feel free to share it with anyone who loves books.
      Yes, Christmas, as Dickens well knew, is a time not only for giving gifts, but for feeling thanksful for the good things we do have, and relieved that we have survived this horrid year. I hope my gift goes to all who have been helped by books throughout this year.

  7. Merry Christmas Susannah,

    I saved your video to watch on Christmas Day. It was such a treat to watch it while munching on a mince tart. As always, with your talks, I learnt many things in a very enjoyable way.

    Thank you.


  8. Susannah Fullerton

    That sounds like the perfect seasonal timing and food for my Dickens talk. I am so glad you enjoyed it.

    • Susannah Fullerton

      So glad you enjoyed it. Feel free to pass it on to anyone who may be interested.
      Happy New Year.

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