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Charles Dickens (1812-1870)
Charles Dickens successfully combined popular and innovative fiction. Publication in serial form shaped his writing and forged a profound link with his reading public. The family entertainment formula of his novels revealed, however, but the surface of a dark , troubled psyche. The defender of traditional values separated in later life from his wife and engaged in a tormented, semi-clandestine affair with the young actress, Ellen Ternan.
Ever a showman, Dickens embarked on a second career as reader of his own works, thus showing their foundation in the hallucinatory, dramatic spoken word: his performance of ‘The Murder of Nancy’ from Oliver Twist, in which he demonstrated a magnetic hold over his audiences, became a psychological compulsion with him.

A Christmas Carol (1843)
This was a favourite set-piece in Dickens’ repertoire of readings. It can be viewed as a quintessential Victorian moral tale, with its allegory of the old miser, Ebenezer Scrooge, who is converted to Christian charity after a night of visitations by spirits who show him the error of his ways. But, like every fairy tale, it has its essentially dark side: the ghosts take Scrooge through the psychological landscape of his unhappy past, which is a reflection of Dickens’ own loneliness and neglect in childhood.
We are in the London fog on Christmas Eve, about to follow the story of Scrooge through its ghostly episodes:
1. Marley’s Ghost
2. The Ghost of Christmas Past
3. The Ghost of Christmas Present
4. The Ghost of Christmas to Come
5. The (Happy) End of It .
Anthony Suter
Anthony Suter is a poet and translator who divides his time between London and Toulouse, where he frequently gives public readings of his own and other writers’ works. He is the author of four published collections of poetry, including 'When You Get to "G.Y." (Redbeck Press, Bradford, 2004), an evocation of his native town of Grimsby, through the voices of the characters who peopled his childhood and early adulthood there; and also of a biography and literary study of Edouard Dujardin (Libris, London, 1991) accompanying a translation of 'Les lauriers sont coupés', which influenced 'Ulysses' by James Joyce. Having nearly completed a new collection, 'A Gathering of Leaves', he is now embarking on two new works: 'The Keeper of Words' and 'The Teller of Toulouse'.


St. Cuthbert Mayne's Feast Day is 29th November

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