Annual Holiday Poetry Reading – A Tribute to Stephen Downey

Annual Holiday Poetry Reading
A Tribute to Stephen Downey
Date Wednesday, December 8, 2021
Time 6:00PM


by Laura Clarke

We hope that you will be able to join us for our annual holiday poetry reading, a time when we get together to share excerpts of our favorite poetry by the Brownings.

Many of the traditional elements of Christmas that are still popular today began in the Victorian period: decorating Christmas trees, sending Christmas cards, singing carols, pulling Christmas crackers, and enjoying a traditional Christmas dinner with family. And of course, it was Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol that solidified the many Christmas traditions we still enjoy today. For this holiday newsletter, then, I want to point out two opportunities in New York City this month for experiencing Dickens’ classic Christmas novel.

Every December, The Morgan Library displays the original manuscript of A Christmas Carol, which was purchased by Pierpont Morgan in the 1890s. Every year, the Morgan turns one page of the manuscript, and this year the manuscript is open at the point in the novel in which Scrooge quarrels with his nephew over the value of Christmas. The page concludes with Scrooge’s first mention of Jacob Marley who “died seven years, this very night,” which is a reference that hints at Scrooge’s adventures to come and the lessons he will learn.
For more information on this exhibition, visit

If you’re in the mood for more Christmas fun with Dickens, consider attending a 1-hour reading of A Christmas Carol at the Merchant House Museum. In December 1867, Dickens held sold-out readings of A Christmas Carol in New York City, and to commemorate these popular events, the Merchant House Museum stages readings by Kevin Jones in its elegant double parlor, which is ornamented with traditional nineteenth-century Christmas decorations. Select performances are followed by a reception with Dickens and mulled wine. For more information about this event and ticket prices, visit

In the spirit of giving that is so important to Dickens’ famous novel, we hope that you will consider making a donation to the New York Browning Society. Please find attached a dues donation form for 2021. Your membership will help us to keep our historic society alive; we are very proud to be the longest running Browning Society in America.

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