A Christmas Carol in Prose, Being a Ghost Story of Christmas, commonly known as A Christmas Carol, is a novella by Charles Dickens, first published in London this date in 1843. The novella met with instant success and critical acclaim. A Christmas Carol tells the story of a bitter old miser named Ebenezer Scrooge and his transformation into a gentler, kindlier man after visitations by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come.
The book was written at a time when the British were examining and exploring Christmas traditions from the past, as well as new customs such as Christmas cards and Christmas trees. Carol singing took a new lease of life during this time. Dicken’s sources for the tale appear to be many and varied, but are, principally, the humiliating experiences of his childhood, his sympathy for the poor, and various Christmas stories and fairy tales.
Dickens was not the very first author to celebrate the Christmas season in literature, but it was he who superimposed his humanitarian vision of the holiday upon the public. Dickens believed the best way to reach the broadest segment of the population regarding his concerns about poverty and social injustice was to write a deeply felt Christmas story rather than polemical pamphlets and essays. Dickens’s career as a best-selling author was on the wane, and the writer felt he needed to produce a tale that would prove both profitable and popular. Dickens’s visit to the work-worn industrial city of Manchester was the “spark” that fired the author to produce a story about the poor, a repentant miser, and redemption that would become A Christmas Carol.
A Christmas Carol remains popular—having never been out of print—and has been adapted many times to film, stage, opera, and other media. (from Wikipedia and www.cute-calendar.com)