Experience the charm of the holidays while turning back the clock. A historic Christmas celebration occurs in Galveston every year during the first weekend of December.
Dickens on the Strand is an annual festival, established in 1974, where ten blocks of Galveston’s historic Strand district are transformed and decorated to look like a scene straight out 19th-century Victorian London. Festival goes are urged to come, witness and relive the era of Charles Dickens.
The three-day event features five stages for music, carolers and other entertainers, tours, street stalls of holiday-inspired food and drinks, and dozens of Victorian-inspired crafts, clothing, jewelry, holiday decorations and gifts for purchase. Also, there’s a Saturday parade featuring Queen Victoria and a variety of races and costume contests on Sunday.
The event is inspired by the ghost of Dickens past and will take you and your family on an enchanted journey through history. Today, we’d like to share some facts about the author and his greatest book.
Celebrating Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens (1812 – 1870) was a Victorian novelist who created some of the most memorable characters in English Literature, but also criticized some of the worst excesses of Victorian society. His other notable novels included Oliver Twist, Great Expectations and David Copperfield. He took great interest in the social issues of his time, touring both Europe and the United States to speak out against slavery and various other social injustices.
At the time that he wrote A Christmas Carol, Dickens was very concerned with impoverished children who turned to crime and delinquency in order to survive. He believed education could provide a way to a better life for these children. He supported The Ragged School movement, which provided free education for children in the inner-city and inspired A Christmas Carol.
The Legacy of A Christmas Carol
“A Christmas Carol,” published in 1843, became the most popular piece of fiction Charles Dickens ever wrote. He began writing the book in October and was finished in six weeks, allowing it to be published during the holiday season of that year.
It became the most successful book of the 1843 holiday season, and by Christmas, it had already sold 6,000 copies. Within two months of the book’s publication, eight stage adaptations were in production.
The book continues to be popular today, and Charles Dickens, through the voice of Scrooge, continues to urge us to honor Christmas in our hearts and keep that spirit alive all year long.
The book also spurred many adaptations, including “Mickey’s Christmas Carol,” a 1983 animated featurette produced by Walt Disney Productions, and “A Muppet’s Christmas Carol” from 1992. It was also adapted into a comedy film titled “Scrooged” starring Bill Murray in 1988 and two movies from 2009: the computer animated “A Christmas Carol” starring Jim Carrey and “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” with Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner.
So brush off your bowlers and prepare your petticoats! Dickens on the Strand in Galveston is a great time for everyone.