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English: A Christmas Carol

About the book

A mean-spirited, miserly old man named Ebenezer Scrooge sits in his counting-house on a frigid Christmas Eve. His clerk, Bob Cratchit, shivers in the anteroom because Scrooge refuses to spend money on heating coals for a fire. Scrooge's nephew, Fred, pays his uncle a visit and invites him to his annual Christmas party. Two portly gentlemen also drop by and ask Scrooge for a contribution to their charity. Scrooge reacts to the holiday visitors with bitterness and venom, spitting out an angry "Bah! Humbug!" in response to his nephew's "Merry Christmas!"

Later that evening, after returning to his dark, cold apartment, Scrooge receives a chilling visitation from the ghost of his dead partner, Jacob Marley. Marley, looking haggard and pallid, relates his unfortunate story. As punishment for his greedy and self-serving life his spirit has been condemned to wander the Earth weighted down with heavy chains. Marley hopes to save Scrooge from sharing the same fate. Marley informs Scrooge that three spirits will visit him during each of the next three nights. After the wraith disappears, Scrooge collapses into a deep sleep. Spark Notes - Full Summary

Image - Public Domain, from the British Library's collections, 2013

About the author

Charles Dickens (1812–70). No English author of the 19th century was more popular than the novelist Charles Dickens. With a reporter’s eye for the details of daily life, a fine ear for the subtleties of common speech, and unmatched powers of character creation, Dickens created a body of work that brought him worldwide fame. He was a remarkably entertaining comic writer, but he was also much more. His perceptive and compassionate depiction of society and its shortcomings made him an influential advocate for social reform.

Dickens was praised in his lifetime, and his critical reputation has only grown since his death. He is generally considered the greatest writer of the Victorian era, and some critics place him second only to William Shakespeare in all of English literature.

Britannica Kids 

For more about Charles Dickens and how his life influenced his writing search Encylopedia Britannica on the link below.

Industrial Revolution London

London was like a character in Charle's Dickens writing. He observed his city and wrote about it as a newspaper columnist might do so today. Many of his observations were through fiction such as through A Christmas Carol or the short story The Little Match Girl or even Oliver Twist. Some of his observations led to real political change. Things such as :

  • Child Labour Laws
  • Workhouses
  • Convicts
  • Inescapable poverty caused by urbanisation

All of these things were products of the Industrial Revolutionan and the change, through mechanisation, from a village to an urban population without regulations to accompany it.

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