On this day: the founding of Nelson’s Column

1844williamhenryfoxtalbotOn the 30th of September, 1840, the first stone of Nelson_s Column, the 52-metre structure in the centre of London_s Trafalgar Square was laid.

Photograph taken by William Henry Fox Talbot in 1843.

On the 30th of September, 1840, the first stone of Nelson’s Column, the 52-metre structure in the centre of London’s Trafalgar Square, was laid.

The column was commissioned to commemorate Admiral Horatio Nelson, who died at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.

The first stone was laid by Charles Davison Scott, and the completed structure was opened three years later, in 1843.



On this day: the publication of A Christmas Carol

Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas. With Illustrations by John Leech. London Chapman & Hall, 1843. First edition. Title page. 1843.

The original 1843 title page.

Charles Dickens’ Christmas classic, A Christmas Carol, was first published on the 19th of December, 1843.

Dickens began the book in September, and it was completed by early December. It took him six weeks to write.

The original copies were sold for five shillings, which would make their value about £22 today. The first run of six-thousand copies was sold out by Christmas Eve.

You can download A Christmas Carol to read for free (Australia, USA, CanadaBritain).


A Christmas Carol

Of the time I lived in London, a year and a half was spent living and working four streets from the Charles Dickens Museum in Holborn. The building was Dickens’ house in the 1830s. I remember walking the streets with a friend late one Friday night (well, actually it was early Saturday morning – the sun started to rise as we walked!) just so I could show her the building. (We did some rather strange things while living in London!)

Because of my Christmases spent in Dickens’ corner of the world, I feel a little bit attached to A Christmas Carol, which was first published by Chapman & Hall on the seventeenth of December, 1843. That’s today, if you missed the date!

This illustration shows Ebenezer Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Present.

Ebenezer Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Present. From Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, 1843.


The First Christmas Card

The world’s first Christmas card was commissioned in London in 1843. Illustrated by John Callcott Horsley for Henry Cole, the cards sold for a shilling each.

The first Christmas card. 1843.