Are you going to experience a Christmas carol this year?


In 1843 Charles Dickens was horrified by reading a government report, it was in fact the 2nd parliamentary report on the employment of women and children. It showed the horrific conditions that these very young children were made to work underground or extremely long hours. Dickens said he would strike the heaviest blow in his power on behalf of these victims of the industrial revolution. In October 1843 he was giving a talk in Manchester, during this talk the idea came to him that the best thing he could do by weigh of getting public attention to look at the horror if this report would be by writing a story rather than an article, this was the conception of ‘A Christmas Carol’.

The idea of Scrooge was as the ultimate loner who had no feelings for the rest of humanity except towards how much money he would make out of them. Dickens then had the concept of the three spirits which over the course of Christmas eve would convert Scrooge away from his wicked old ways.

The Ghost of Christmas Past takes him back into his childhood, and shows hum the suffering he went though as child. He begins with pity for himself and then is shown further visions. Scrooge in the present is horrified to see him becoming miserly. The ghost of Christmas Present shows Scrooge the home life of his own poor clark. The ghost shows the family happiness at Christmas and is even shown Cratchet raising a glass to toast him. He is particularly concerned with the crippled child. he 3rd ghost shows a old man who dies in solitude and Scrooge is made to read the name on the tombstone which is Scrooge. Scrooge has now been converted from an old miser to a now belligerent, happy being. The story is about how we can all change and become much better.

Dickens said he composed the story in a frenzy, walking about the dark streets of London night after night. Getting it written in time for publication just immediately after Christmas. Dickens wanted his publishers to spare no expense on making the book attractive which included hand painted illustrations which was enormously expensive. There was a contradiction there as Dickens wanted the book to reach the poorest readers but it would be impossible to publish the book that cheaply.

The story was written in just a few weeks and immediately sold out and reviewed everywhere and universally praised. Dickens great rival said it was a “national benefit”.