This book, the last work of Charles Dickens to be published, is peculiarly personal to the writer. The manuscript was entirely handwritten and kept in his home solely for the use of his own children. It was never intended for publication, but rather written in a form which Dickens thought most suitable for his own youngsters, and they might have a permanent record of their father's thoughts.
After his death the manuscript passed into the possession of his sister-in-law, Miss Georgina Hogarth, and when she died in 1917 it passed to Sir Henry Fielding Dickens, who was Charles Dickens' son. Sir Henry was averse to publishing the manuscript in his own lifetime, but saw no reason why it should be withheld from the world's children after his death.
The Life of Our Lord first appeared in serial form in 1934. In this book, Charles Dickens tells the story of the life of Jesus Christ in a beautiful and simple way, so that it can be understood by young children. He combines his own skillful wordsmanship with a deep understanding of how the child's mind works. He is at pains to explain words which might be unfamiliar, but which he wishes his children to learn, such as parable and Saviour. He also pauses to describe locusts and camels and other creatures which his London-bred children might not recognise.
Particularly impressive is his retelling and interpretation of the parables, which he makes accessible in language which today's child will easily understand. The world's most beloved stories, retold by the world's greatest storyteller, to the people he loved the most.
Oh, dear readers! A lesson is here for you. To judge a book in the first few words is a mistake. God's words which I have quoted from this book appear a little way into this loving Christian father's summary of the story of our Savior's message and life which he intended not for the public, but for the discussion and education of his own children. Dickens understood the meaning of those lessons and that life better than most people. He lived and wrote his books always with that in mind. You would be doing yourselves and your beautiful children a service by reading any of his writings to them....A Christmas Story is a good place to start. It is the tale of the salvation of a lost soul by the spirit of Christ as represented by the example of good people who love that holy day. Dickens was a man, not a saint, and may have had opinions about that great message that differ slightly from your own-which gives you an opportunity to think about your own faith and to discuss the differences among the beliefs of different Christians. We have been given one commandment by Jesus, which is that we love one another, and I love you, dear reader, as my Master demands.
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What would have made The Life of Our Lord better?
We stopped listening at "there is a child born today in the city of Bethlehem near here who will grow up to be so good that God will love him as his own son."
You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?
No, bad theology is bad.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful