A Dickens of a Good Time
You know how life sometimes treats you to something so amazing, so aligned with what you have in your life at the moment that you swivel your head looking for a mountaintop from which to shout it?
This blog is one of those mountaintops for my friend, Heather.
I first met Heather in June 2021 when she stumbled across an ad on Facebook for one of Pretty Literate's Seasonal Book Boxes and what has grown out of that chance encounter is a friendship that I count as one of my favorite blessings of my job - connecting with people all around the world I would never have had the pleasure of knowing otherwise.
If you are a first-time reader, welcome! You are in for a real treat because, like I said earlier, Heather had a recent amazing experience of bookish proportions and she was so blown away by it that she asked to share it with you here - on Pretty Literate's online mountaintop.
Grab a cuppa cocoa to sip as you sit back and read about A Dickens of a Good Time my fabulous friend, Heather, had recently.
A Dickens of a Good Time
A Guest Post by Heather Qualman
Last month on Facebook, I saw that my local library was offering an upcoming performance. I thought, What a wonderful way to start the holiday season!
Halloween had just passed.
Thanksgiving was now on the horizon.
Do I, or don't I? It was definitely more of a Christmas-themed performance than Thanksgiving, and our family doesn't even trim the tree until after Thanksgiving Day. I quickly decided to sign us up because I knew the performance would fill up fast.
What was the performance, you ask? The relative of a truly great author from the past - one you have undoubtedly read before - was coming to town to perform a one man show of one of his great great grandfather's stories!
I was so excited!
As I counted down the days for the shows for which I'd reserved seats, the anticipation of this incredibly wonderful opportunity was building.
And then shortly after, my friend, Ericka, at Pretty Literate turned that excitement up a notch!
It turned out that the two shows I was going to attend featuring the descendant of this famous author complimented Pretty Literate's new Holiday Gift Box, which ended up increasing the excitement for both this holiday season!
The performer I'm talking about is none other than the great great grandson of Charles Dickens!
First, my library treated my mom, my daughter, and me to an unforgettable evening with Gerald Dickens: A Child’s Journey, in which "a 12 year old girl meets her literary hero, Charles Dickens, on a train ride."
And do you know what? That 12 year old girl grew up to be none other than Kate Douglas Wiggin, the beloved author of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.
While Charles Dickens never wrote about the "chance meeting," it made an impact on 12 year old Kate. In fact, she wrote about it in a rare manuscript bearing the title A Child’s Journey with Dickens that was published in 1912.
After his show, my mom, daughter, and I went out into the lobby of the library’s theater to purchase a signed copy of Gerald Dickens' book alongside a DVD of his performance. During the meet and greet in the theater lobby about the same time, we were thrilled to actually then get to meet Gerald following the show.
We discussed how many different versions of A Christmas Carol exist, of all things. (Did you know, for example, that there is a My Little Pony version of A Christmas Carol, as well as a Barbie edition?)
Gerald Dickens' second performance (A Christmas Carol) was also incredible! There were many moments of laughter, times when chills ran up my spine, times when tears slowly went down my cheeks. I watched Scrooge come to life on stage as the squeezing, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner that he was and grow to become as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew.
A Little Bit of Bio
Gerald Dickens has been performing his own one man acts since 1993. He performs in both the US and the UK. He returns annually to perform at historic hotels, libraries, and theaters. He has also performed at Highclere Castle where Downton Abbey was filmed. Last year he published Dickens and Staplehurst: A Biography of a Rail Crash. He’s working on a second one book now about his life in the theater.
A Child’s Journey and A Christmas Carol aren’t the only performances Gerald Dickens gives. He has written and directed other one man shows like Great Expectations, The Signalman, Nicholas Nickleby, to name a few. (You can check out Dickens' Tour Dates, Shows, and more on his website.)
If you find one of his shows near you, I wholeheartedly recommend attending! He’s a very kind man, and very entertaining!
You Own Dickens of a Good Time
If you do not have the opportunity Heather had to experience Dickens come to life on stage this holiday season, you can still have a Dickens' of a Good Time this Christmas!
Set yourself up for a holly, jolly holiday by pre-ordering one of the limited Charles Dickens Book Boxes featuring a novel treasure handmade exclusively for this book box by my good friend, Heather.
You can check out some of Heather's handmade creations here.