On a whim, I decided to listen to this audiobook of A Christmas Carol. Even though I have seen multiple adaptations of this book, I have never actually read it (or listened to it). In my listening, the book rewarded me with two art history references!
However, the people behind CCProse need to correct a typo I saw in this “Videobook”.
Check out this sentence courtesy of the Gutenberg website:
“The ancient tower of a church, whose gruff old bell was always peeping slily down at Scrooge out of a Gothic window in the wall, became invisible, and struck the hours and quarters in the clouds, with tremulous vibrations afterwards as if its teeth were chattering in its frozen head up there.”
A reference to Westminster Abbey, yes maybe?
ETA: Richard Douglas in the comment section kindly corrected me on the geographical locations of London cathedrals and believes that it could be Saint Paul’s Cathedral. Check them out!
Listening to this book, Dickens obviously used the environment to match the mood of Scrooge.
The other reference:
“It was a very low fire indeed; nothing on such a bitter night. He was obliged to sit close to it, and brood over it, before he could extract the least sensation of warmth from such a handful of fuel. The fireplace was an old one, built by some Dutch merchant long ago, and paved all round with quaint Dutch tiles, designed to illustrate the Scriptures. There were Cains and Abels, Pharaoh’s daughters; Queens of Sheba, Angelic messengers descending through the air on clouds like feather-beds, Abrahams, Belshazzars, Apostles putting off to sea in butter-boats, hundreds of figures to attract his thoughts; and yet that face of Marley, seven years dead, came like the ancient Prophet’s rod, and swallowed up the whole. If each smooth tile had been a blank at first, with power to shape some picture on its surface from the disjointed fragments of his thoughts, there would have been a copy of old Marley’s head on every one.”
If you do a search on Dutch tile fireplaces, you will come across a plethora of these quaint and cozy additions.
ETA: Removed a broken photo embed.