When A Christmas Carol was first published in 1843 it was an overnight success, and set a precedent that was to be followed by other Christmas books, including The Chimes (1844) and The Cricket (1845).
Each book was published at the same time of year, in the same format, and extolled similar values about the virtues of love, charity and the family unit. But none would achieve the cult status of A Christmas Carol, a book so popular it has become part of the landscape of the traditional Christmas, or produce a character as extraordinarily memorable.
A celebration of Christmas, a tale of redemption and a critique on Victorian society, Dickens’ atmospheric novella follows the miserly, penny-pinching Ebenezer Scrooge who views Christmas as ‘humbug’. It is only through a series of eerie, life-changing visits from the ghost of his deceased business partner Marley and the spirits of Christmas past, present and future that he begins to see the error of his ways.
With heart-rending characters, rich imagery and evocative language, the message of A Christmas Carol remains as significant today as when it was first published.