Sponsored by the ESU Cleveland Branch
When Charles Dickens died, a child famously asked if this meant Father Christmas would die, too. Such was the power of Dickens' grip on the popular imagination, the Christmas season almost seemed his own creation. Dickens inspired millions with visions of a glowing, holly-strewn celebration, rich in sentiment and good cheer, underpinned by recurrent themes of memory, loss and redemption. These Christmas tales held secrets, dark secrets, personal to their author, too. In this talk, Andrew Halls explores Dickens' Christmas Books and Christmas Stories, showing that some of the most beloved tales of 19th century England and America contain unsettling insights into the mind, motives, and desires of one of the most popular, most known - and yet most hidden - novelists in history. This ESU Happy Hour is sponsored by the Cleveland Branch. ESU Happy Hour programs are online, free, and open to all members and the public. Registration is required. Please click here to register:
Andew Halls, OBE, Ma was Headmaster (Principal) of King's College School, Wimbledon, from January 2008 until April 2021, and previously Master (Principal) of Magdalen College School, Oxford, from 1998. In each case, the school became during his tenure the leading boys' or co-ed school in the UK, heading academic league tables. Halls remains the only headteacher to win the title of Sunday Times school of the year at two different schools.
Halls read English at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, and achieved a double first. He is currently Honorary Principal of King's College School, Bangkok, and the director of an educational charity supporting children from poorer homes. His interests include researching the life and works of Charles Dickens and he has given many lectures on this theme, most recently as the prestigious Evelyn Wrench speaker for The English-Speaking Union, presenting lectures on Dickens in four American cities including New York and Memphis.
Yields 8 cups