We all have things we love about Christmas and Charles Dickens gave us one more item to add to the list those many years ago. In many ways the culture of his day was much like our own even if apparel and technology have drastically changed. Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol intending to bring to light many of the social ills of the day such as over indulgence of the rich, ignorance of poverty, and poor education. His tale is timeless and as much as it is tradition, it is, I also see it as a learning opportunity.
I was excited to read Bob Welch’s analysis of the this tale of Christmas in 52 Little Lessons from A Christmas Carol. This is a new author for me and I always anticipate what will come when I read someone new. The layout of the book is simple. Each chapter has a very short quote along with an attribute to the character it refers to or who spoke it. Then proceeds several pages of discourse about the quote.
Each quote is enhanced with literary analysis, historical significance, and Scriptural reference. The reader is led on a thought-provoking journey through these 52 quotes, often left to think of how this relates to our present day lives.
I was a little disappointed that the quotes were so short. I prefer having the entire context. While I do have many copies of A Christmas Carol handy, I would have liked to have more context included in the quote. I believe the author presumes a familiarity with the story, whether by theater, a retelling, or the original text. If not, this book would feel a little empty. I have extensive experience with the novel as I have taught it repeatedly in my English classes for middle schoolers. I also have multiple versions on DVD and a few audio dramas. Still I felt there was a bit lacking as far as providing the text.
I also think I would like to have the chapters separated into Staves just as the original novel is. While the quotes do go in order, having further clarification of the stave in which it occurs would have been nice.
I did like this very much as it has given me more to think about for the next time I read the story.