The Holly-Tree / Charles Dickens / Pictured by H. M. Brock
Henry Matthew Brock
12.6 x 10.5 cm. exclusive of frame.
Dickens's The Holly-tree Inn, front cover.
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Scanned image and text by Philip V. Allingham.
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Dickens's The Holly-Tree Inn, originally published in Household Words, Extra Christmas Number, December 1855. "The Guest," "The Boots," and "The Bill," parts one, three, and seven respectively, were by Dickens, the other contributors being his chief collaborator, Wilkie Collins, William Howitt, Adelaide Anne Procter, and Harriet Parr ("Holme Lee"). The colourful cover, with snow scene of the inn and a carriage, suggests a chronological setting prior to the Railway Age, an impression that the 18th c. costumes of the ostler and his wife reinforce. The packaging (or, more accurately, re-packaging) of the framed-tale from Household Words suggests that Hodder and Stoughton were marketing the slight, 40-page volume as a children's book for Christmas sixty years after its initial publication, permissible under the revised provision of the Imperial Copyright Act of 1911, which implemented the Berne Convention (1886). Although Dickens died in 1870 and copyright on his works therefore ran until 1920 (fifty years after the author's death), the old provision would have given the publishers to right to publish the novella since, under the Copyright Act (1842) the term was 42 years from the publication of the work, or the lifetime of the author and seven years thereafter, whichever was the longer. Even though the original work involved multiple authors, this text contains only Dickens's contributions, and therefore until 1911 would have been free of copyright limitations from 1897. In all likelihood, Stodder and Houghton paid the estate and Chapman and Hall a modest royalty.
Davis, Paul. Charles Dickens A to Z: The Essential Reference to His Life and Work. New York: Facts On File, 1998.
Dickens, Charles. Christmas Stories. Illustrated by Edward Dalziel, Harry French, F. A. Fraser, James Mahoney, Townley Green, and Charles Green. The Oxford Illustrated Dickens. Oxford, New York, and Toronto: Oxford U.P., 1956, rpt. 1989.
_______. Christmas Stories. Illustrated by E. A. Abbey. The Household Edition. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1876.
_______. Christmas Stories from "Household Words" and "All the Year Round". Illustrated by E. G. Dalziel. The Household Edition. London: Chapman and Hall, 1877.
_______. Christmas Stories from "Household Words" and "All the Year Round". Illustrated by Townley Green, Charles Green, Fred Walker, F. A. Fraser, Harry French, E. G. Dalziel, and J.Mahoney. The Illustrated Library Edition. London: Chapman and Hall, 1911. Volume 1.
_______. Christmas Stories from "Household Words" and "All the Year Round". Illustrated by E. A. Abbey. The Centenary Edition. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1911.
_______. Christmas Stories. Illustrated by Harry Furniss. The Charles Dickens Library Edition. London: Educational Book, 1910. Volume 16.
_______. The Uncommercial Traverller and Additional Christmas Stories. Illustrated by Sol Eytinge, Jr. The Diamond Edition. Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1867.
Thomas, Deborah A. Dickens and the Short Story. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1982.
Created 31 January 2016