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A Literary Christmas Miscellany from the Berg Collection


Special Display: This holiday display features Charles Dickens's prompt copy of A Christmas Carol, from which he gave his public readings; a book with a Christmas theme by T.S. Eliot; Christmas greetings by James Joyce, Sean O'Casey, E.E. Cummings, and Maurice Sendak; and a Christmas letter from Jack Kerouac to his future wife, Stella Sampas. About the photograph: Harry Burnett, the son of Charles Dickens’s eldest sister, Fanny Burnett, is said to have been the model for both Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol and Paul Dombey in Dombey and Son. He died in January 1849, only a few months after his mother. “Harry was a singular child,” Fanny’s pastor recalled, “meditative and quaint in a remarkable degree.”

Image: Photograph of the original Tiny Tim, ca. 1848. NYPL, Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature. This photograph once belonged to Elizabeth Dickens, Charles Dickens’s mother.