A Christmas Carol poster


December 17, 1843

A Christmas Carol (1843)

A Christmas Carol is a novella written by English novelist Charles Dickens. Chapman & Hall published it for the first time on December 19, 1843. Carol narrates the narrative of Ebenezer Scrooge, a bitter old miser, and his change as a result of a ghostly visit from the spirit of his former business partner Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, and Yet to Come.

The novella was welcomed with immediate popularity and critical acclaim. The book was written and published in early Victorian-era Britain, a time when there was a great nostalgia for ancient Christmas traditions as well as the introduction of new ones such as Christmas trees and greeting cards. Dickens’ roots for the story appear to be numerous and varied, but primarily the humiliating circumstances of his youth, his pity for the poor, and other Christmas stories and fairy tales.