The Children’s illustrated Classics Bound in Sundour cloth with special designs for the binding, end-papers, and jacket by ALEXANDER H. WILLIAMSON. Illustrated in colour and line by C. E. Brock.

The Blurb on the Flyleaf

The ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas Yet to Come are with us still as we turn the pages of this unforgettable Christmas Book of Dickens. These Christmas pieces, as examples of story-telling "in the fashion of the old nursery tales," have become part of the tradition and Christmas. A Christmas Carol; is set in the London of more than a century ago, when poverty and starvation were the lot of the unfortunate, a London Dickens knew well and tried to reform in this and other books. In this city of cobbled streets, which could mete out such cruelty to those dependent on its charity, Dickens understood the feeling which animated the Bob Cratchits and Tiny Tims of its narrow ways. The depth of his belief in them as the salt of the earth deserving much better of the world made Scrooge’s conversion completely convincing.

[Note: Since this edition was published in 1905, the editor is dating the action of the novella to approximately 1800, a London that Dickens could not have “known well” simply because Dickens, born in Portsmouth in 1812 and in school in Rochester-Chatham as a boy, did not actually arrive in London until the 1820s. However, the novella’s scenes of poverty and deprivation suggest the period of The Hungry Forties, the very decade in which Dickens was desperate to continue the early triumphs of The Pickwick Papers and Oliver Twist.]

The Cricket on the Heath is not so well known. Dickens gave the book the subtitle 'A Fairy Tale of Home.' It is an example of the fantasy element that was never long absent from Dickens’s imagination when directed towards Christmas.


Not another Dickens title appears in the list of titles in the Dent-Dutton series of illustrated children’s books, of which the present volume is no. 59. The series contains sixty-two (chiefly juvenile) works, ranging from Aesop's Fables (No. 49) to Tales of Make-believe (No. 48), and features such children’s classics as R. M. Ballantyne’s The Coral Island (No. 6). Among the then-well-known seventeen illustrators mentioned is Arthur Rackham.

Other Illustrations for the first two Christmas Books (1843-1915)

Scanned image and text by 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.]


Dickens, Charles. Christmas Books. Illustrated by Fred Barnard. The Household Edition. London: Chapman and Hall, 1878.

_______. Christmas Books, illustrated by Sol Eytinge, Jr. The Diamond Edition. 16 vols. Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1867. X.

_______. Christmas Books, illustrated by Fred Barnard. Household Edition. London: Chapman and Hall, 1878.

_______. Christmas Books, illustrated by A. A. Dixon. London & Glasgow: Collins' Clear-Type Press, 1906.

_______. Christmas Books, illustrated by Harry Furniss. The Charles Dickens Library Edition. London: Educational Book, 1910.

_______. A Christmas Carol and The Cricket on the Hearth, illustrated by C. E. [Charles Edmund] Brock. London: J. M. Dent, 1905; New York: Dutton, rpt., 1963.

_______. Christmas Stories, illustrated by E. A. Abbey. The Household Edition. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1876.

_______. The Cricket on the Hearth: A Fairy Tale of Home. Illustrated by John Leech, Daniel Maclise, Richard Doyle, Clarkson Stanfield, and Edwin Landseer. London: Bradbury and Evans, 1845.

Created 5 October 2015

Last modified 3 July 2020