Rediscover: The Man Who Invented Christmas

The movie adaptation of The Man Who Invented Christmas by Les Standiford has been wreathed in rave reviews. The film, which opened November 22, stars Dan Stevens as a young Charles Dickens in the process of writing A Christmas Carol. Two years after publishing Oliver Twist, a string of unsuccessful works brings Dickens to the verge of financial ruin. He roams London for the inspiration that will allow him to deliver a manuscript in time for Christmas. As Dickens develops his story, he interacts with his characters, especially Ebenezer Scrooge (played by Christopher Plummer), and seeks advice from his Irish servant, Tara. Meanwhile, Dickens's father, John (Jonathan Pryce), tests his son's patience with financial carelessness and impropriety. As the Christmas deadline sleighs closer, Dickens's struggle to determine the fate of Scrooge intersects with his own troubled childhood.

Les Standiford is the director of Florida International University's creative writing program and author of multiple works of narrative nonfiction as well as the John Deal Miami crime fiction series. The Man Who Invented Christmas: How Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol Rescued His Career and Revived Our Holiday Spirits (2008) was brought to the big screen thanks in part to Mitchell Kaplan, owner of Books & Books and co-owner of Mazur/Kaplan Company, which specializes in adapting literary works for film and TV. On September 19, Broadway published a movie tie-in edition of The Man Who Invented Christmas ($17, 9781524762469) that includes A Christmas Carol. --Tobias Mutter

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