A Christmas Carol by Charles DickensIf I had my way, every idiot who goes around with Merry Christmas on his lips, would be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. Merry Christmas? Bah humbug!
Introduction and Afterword by Joe Wheeler
To bitter, miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, Christmas is just another day. But all that changes when the ghost of his long-dead business partner appears, warning Scrooge to change his ways before its too late.
Part of the Focus on the Family Great Stories collection, this edition features an in-depth introduction and discussion questions by Joe Wheeler to provide greater understanding for todays reader. A Christmas Carol captures the heart of the holidays like no other novel.
Why Dickens Wrote 'A Christmas Carol'
A Christmas Carol. In Prose. A Christmas Carol recounts the story of Ebenezer Scrooge , an elderly miser who is visited by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and the spirits of Christmas Past , Present and Yet to Come. After their visits, Scrooge is transformed into a kinder, gentler man. Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol during a period when the British were exploring and re-evaluating past Christmas traditions , including carols and newer customs such as Christmas trees.
The beloved story sold 6,000 copies in its first week in print and 15,000 in its first year
A Christmas Carol is more than a timeless Christmas story. Its author hoped that its lessons would be remembered all through the year. He sold out the first print run in a week, all 6, copies of it. By the end of the next year, writes Brandon Ambrosino for Vox , the book had sold more than 15, copies. The book did have the cultural impact Dickens was hoping for, though.
When it was initially published in December , Dickens had been certain the book would sell well — and had hoped those sales would resolve some of his money woes. But he couldn't have foreseen how completely the tale would be embraced by the public, or that it would evolve into a beloved classic. Dickens began to write what would become A Christmas Carol in October He was determined to get the book out in time for Christmas that year, giving him a very short window to work in. However, the pressing schedule wasn't solely motivated by authorial inspiration — Dickens also had a desperate need for money.
When Dickens wrote "A Christmas Carol" in late , he had ambitious purposes in mind, yet he could never have imagined the profound impact his story would have. Dickens had already achieved great fame , yet his most recent novel wasn't selling well and he feared his success had peaked. Indeed, he faced some serious financial problems as Christmas approached. Beyond his own worries, Dickens was keenly attuned to the profound misery of the working poor in England. A visit to the grimy industrial city of Manchester motivated him to tell the story of greedy businessman Ebenezer Scrooge, who would be transformed by the Christmas spirit. Dickens rushed "A Christmas Carol" into print by Christmas , and it became a phenomenon.