The world’s aboriginal printed Christmas agenda has gone on appearance at the Charles Dickens Building in London, aloof over a ages afore the Royal Mail borderline for announcement Christmas cards in Britain.
The agenda was printed in 1843, the year the Victorian columnist appear A Christmas Carol, the adventure of Ebenezer Scrooge whose afflicted attitude is adapted afterwards actuality visited by the alcohol of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come.
Designed by Henry Cole and illustrated by John Callcott Horsley, the hand-coloured agenda shows a ancestors aggregate about a table adequate a bottle of wine with the message: A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year to You.
It was beatific from a son to his parents. Of the 1,000 originally printed, 21 survived and one has been loaned to the building by a book banker in San Francisco.
Cole’s aboriginal affidavit is additionally on loan. It was accustomed as a allowance in 1865 and has a penciled agenda to the almsman in the basal right-hand corner.
Dickens and Cole formed at the aforementioned time, alien to anniversary other, abstraction what would become accepted traditions.
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“This was a absolutely important year for the development of the avant-garde Christmas. The Christmas agenda is such a big allotment of our Christmases today. And A Christmas Carol is such a cogent adventure that we see every year at Christmas time,” building babysitter Louisa Price said.
Cole was active in ambience up the Penny Post in 1840 and apperception the aboriginal Christmas agenda which awash for a shilling (12 pence, $0.15). Today, billions of Christmas cards accomplish their way about the world.
Dickens realised industrialisation meant there was a bazaar for books as Christmas presents. Simon Eliot, co-curator at the building and specialist in 19th aeon books, said: “He was able to focus absorption on Christmas and accord it a array of character and action which it had lacked.”
The exhibition – Beautiful Books: Dickens and the Business of Christmas – runs at the novelist’s above London home, now a museum, until April 19.
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