The Goose Club. — Drawn by "Phiz" (Hablot Knight Browne. The Illustrated London News 24 December 1853: 580. 15 cm high by 23.7 cm wide, framed.

In his "Notes" for A Christmas Carol in Prose, Being A Ghost Story of Christmas, Michael Slater notes that working and lower-middle class Londoners would take their Sunday joints and Christmas pies to the local baker's: "when bakers were legally forbidden to bake bread, people would take their joints of meat, etc., to the bake-houses to cook" (260). Many Londoners would not have had ovens of sufficient size to roast a goose, and, indeed, many the occupant of a "two-pair front" would not have had kitchen facilities at all. Thus, those who subscribed all year in order to have a goose for Christmas who have had to prepare it at home, then transport it to the local bakery on Christmas morning to be roasted. John Leech's 1848 Illustrated London News yuletide scene Fetching Home the Christmas Dinner shows crowds retrieving their Christmas dishes from Mr. Rusk and Mr. Baker, the majority of these eager Londoners being young girls.

Scanned image and text Philip V. Allingham [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the person who scanned the image and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.]

References

Browne, Hablot Knight. The Goose Club. The Illustrated London News, Christmas Supplement. 24 December 1853: page 580.

Cousin Charles. "Fetching Home the Christmas Dinners." The Illustrated London News, Christmas Supplement. No. 350, Vol. 13 (23 December 1848): page 407-410.

Dickens, Charles. A Christmas Carol in Prose, Being A Ghost Story of Christmas. Illustrated by John Leech. (1843). Rpt. in Charles Dickens's Christmas Books, ed. Michael Slater. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1971, rpt. 1978.

Leech, John. Fetching Home the Christmas Dinner. The Illustrated London News, Christmas Supplement. No. 350, Vol. 13 (23 December 1848): page 408.


Last modified 15 August 2015