Charles Dickens influence
Most Christmas houses are made according to the atmosphere of the Victorian era and also the famous stories of Charles Dickens and his characters have had a lot of influence.
Charles John Huffham Dickens was born as son of John Dickens and Elizabeth Barrow in Landport at Portsmouth on February 7, 1812 and was one of the most important British writers of the Victorian era.
When he was ten, the family moved to London. Due to financial difficulties of his father, the young Charles had to leave his school several times to go to work (Charles’s father was in prison regularly). At 12, Charles ended up in a shoe polish factory where he had to work 10 hours a day. Later he would write a lot about the difficult circumstances in which workers went. When he was 15, he came to work at a law firm. He taught himself shorthand and after some time became a chamber reporter for the Morning Chronicle (1835). At that time his first literary work arose from his journalistic work in the form of descriptions of London life and the outdoors.
These were later bundled under the title Sketches by Boz (1836-1837). ‘Boz’ was the nickname of his younger and eternally cold brother Moses. Many of his works initially appeared in the form of serials in various magazines and were later published as a book. He became well-known with The Pickwick Papers, which appeared in monthly episodes from 1836 onwards. Following the success of this success quickly Oliver Twist (1837-1838), Nicholas Nickleby (1838-1839), The Old Curiosity Shop (1841) and Barnaby Rudge (1841) appeared.
In 1843, the first and most famous of his Christmas stories appeared: A Christmas Carol in Prose, a story about the miser Ebenezer Scrooge who comes to repentance after the visit of three spirits and who is still staged and filmed in all kinds of adaptations, especially in the Christmas time. His most famous novels are undoubtedly David Copperfield (1849-1850, largely autobiographical), Great Expectations (1860-1861), Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby.
Dickens died in 1870 (he was then working on The Mystery or Edwin Drood) and was – at the request of Queen Victoria, but very against his own will – buried in the Poets’ Corner at Westminster Abbey, London. Dickens had already made it known during his life that he preferred the family tomb in Highgate.
Bibliography of Charles Dickens
Sketches by Boz (1836) The Pickwick Papers (1836) Oliver Twist (1837-1839) Nicholas Nickleby (1838-1839) The Old Curiosity Shop (1840-1841) Barnaby Rudge (1841) American Notes (1842) A Christmas Carol (1843) Martin Chuzzlewit (1843-1844) Dombey and Son (1846-1848) David Copperfield (1849-1850) A Child’s History of England (1851-1853) Bleak House (1852-1853) Hard Times (1854) Little Dorrit (1855-1857) A Tale of Two Cities (1859) Great Expectations (1860-1861) Our Mutual Friend (1864-1865) The Mystery of Edwin Drood (not finished, 1870)
Not only the designers of the Christmas houses were inspired by the master writer …
At the end of last century, Sjef and Alie de Jong settled in the Gelderse Bronkhorst where Sjef bought an authentic urban farm in 1987. Here they decided to realize a long cherished dream: the design and exploitation of a museum, entirely dedicated to the great English writer Charles Dickens. The picturesque 16th century Bronkhorst, also known as the smallest town in the Netherlands, lends itself perfectly to this plan in terms of appearance and atmosphere. In 1988 Sjef and Alie started the Dickens Museum. What started in 1988 with a small collection of books and curiosities has grown into a beautiful museum, including a curiosity shop and an atmospheric small theater.
In Bronkhorst many souvenirs from the world of Charles Dickens were tangible and for sale. Authentic trinkets and books: Sjef and Alie de Jong regularly travel to England to buy special items, books and cards. Sometimes special auctions were visited where the enthusiastic Dickens couple hoped to find unique objects, books and maps. In addition to the many trinkets and gift items, various Dickens books were available in different versions and languages. Lovers of atmospheric and authentic English gift items could indulge in The Old Curiosity Shop, where you felt “in” a Christmas village.
The Dickens Museum and the town of Bronkhorst were inextricably linked. But that came to an end after 30 years. The Dickens Museum in the small Achterhoek town of Bronkhorst closed its doors in October 2017 after 30 years. Sjef de Jong (86), who ran the museum from 1987, sold the building.
Dirk de Jong, the son of Sjef, started a conversation with Geert Prein. He owns the children’s amusement park Het Land by Jan Klaassen in Braamt. The two have now decided that the collection of the Dickens Museum will move to Braamt. Prein hopes that the relocated Dickens Museum will open around May 2018.