by Charles Dickens | Grades: 9-12
About A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
As much a part of Christmas as mistletoe and carolers, Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" was once read publicly on Christmas Eve each year by Dickens himself.
An immediate bestseller when it was first published in December 1843, A Christmas Carol has endured ever since as a perennial Yuletide favorite. Charles Dickens's beloved tale about the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, who comes to know the meaning of kindness, charity, and goodwill through a haunting Christmas Eve encounter with four ghosts, is a heartwarming celebration of the spirit of Christmas.
This heartwarming tale continues to stir in us the same feelings of repentance, forgiveness, and love that transformed Ebenezer Scrooge from grumbling, "Bah! Humbug!" to sharing Tiny Tim's happy "God bless us, every one!"
Warmly nostalgic and beautifully written, the Christmas stories of Charles Dickens deserve a very special place in our memories and our hearts.
A Biographical Note About Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens was born on February 7, 1812, at Landport, near Portsmouth, England. He died at Gads Hill, his home in Kent, on June 9, 1870.
The second of eight children in a family often plagued by debt, Dickens at ten saw his father arrested and confined in the Marshalsea, a debtors' prison in London, and although a small boy he was placed in a blacking factory where he worked at labeling bottles, visiting John Dickens on Sundays. Charles returned to school on his father's release, taught himself shorthand, and at sixteen became a parliamentary reporter.
At twenty-four his career took off with the publication of Sketches by Boz (1836), which was followed by Pickwick Papers the next year. As a novelist and magazine editor he had a long run of serialized successes through Our Mutual Friend (1864-65).
His family life had ended earlier, in 1858, when fame drew him apart from his wife of twenty-three years, Catherine, and (although his readers never knew) into the arms of young Ellen Ternan, an actress. Ill health slowed him down but he continued his popular dramatic readings from his fiction to an adoring public that included Queen Victoria. At his death he left The Mystery of Edwin Drood unfinished