Friday, December 14, 2012

A Christmas Carol

By Anna Kathryn Lanier
On December 19, 1843, one of the holiday's most recognized stories was born – Charles Dickens released his novel “A Christmas Carol.” Taking only a few weeks to write the story, Dickens then self-published it. He ordered lavish binding, gilt edging and hand-colored illustrations. He then set a low price for the book so people could afford it. While this helped sell out his first run print of 6,000 copies, it was not very profitable for Dickens.
 The orginal cover

A Christmas Story tells of a miserly soul, Ebenezer Scrooge, a man who hates Christmas and forces his sour opinion of it onto everyone else. On Christmas Eve night, he is visited by four ghosts, including that of his old partner, who has been sent to warn him to change his ways. The other ghosts are Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas Future. The ghosts help to open Scrooge's eyes to the true meaning of Christmas and do, as Marley wished, change his ways.

Several movies have been made of A Christmas Carol, I believe my favorite is the one with George C. Scott as Scrooge. Though Capt. Picard, aka Patrick Steward, also does a nice presentation of Scrooge.

So, if you have a chance in the next few days, treat yourself either to a reading of A Christmas Carol, or to a viewing of one of the many movies made of it.


The drawings are of the original prints ordered by Dickens. The colored prints were the largest expense of the book and accounted for the low profits he made.

Merry Christmas, and God bless us everyone!

This post first appeared on Chattingwith Anna Kathryn Blog December 19, 2008
Anna Kathryn Lanier
Never let your memories be greater than your dreams. ~Doug Ivester 


  1. I am a Dickens fanatic and this and Great Expectations are my favorites! Ah, hope I have time to re-read before the big day. George C. Scott's rendition of Scrooge is my tradition to watch while I stuff the stockings. Oooo goody, almost time!

    Loved this, thanks!

  2. My favorite Dickens book is A TALE OF TWO CITIES, but A CHRISTMAS CAROL is my husband's favorite and we always watch at least two versions of the movie as Christmas approaches. My favorite version is the Muppets' and it is faithful to the book.

  3. George C. Scott was the best Scrooge. I'd like to see more of those drawings...I bet they were very special. Thanks for how Dickens self-puslished his book.

  4. Hi, Tanya, Caroline and Celia. I was out last night through this morning doing a holiday thing, lol. So glad you dropped by. I enjoyed doing the research for this blog, even when though it was a few years ago. I love A Christmas Carol...great character arch there, lol.

  5. I'm partial to the Muppets rendition with Michael Caine. It's the one our family(My kids) watched every year on Christmas eve.

    See there were self pubbed authors even back then who sold well. ;0)

    Thank you for another glimpse at history I didn't know about.

  6. Wonderful post. I love the Christmas Carol! Many versions, including the one with George C Scott and the Muppets.

  7. Great post. Love the original artwork. Thanks Anna Kathryn!

  8. Love the book and the movies. I have to watch at least one version every year. My father-in-law played Scrooge on the stage many years. He said the part was written for him. We'd all laugh. He died 2 years ago. There was a lot of truth in his statement.
    The story reminds us to be kind to our fellow men and that relationships are what matter. We could all stand to remember that lesson.
    Thanks for the fine post!

  9. I love the Christmas Carol and try to watch it every year. Interesting that he self-published it.

  10. Dickens Self-published! Who would have guessed? Fescinating historical details, Anna Kathryn.

    I love the George C, Scott movie, but my favorite is the 1938 version starring Reginald Owen. In black and white, it captures the eerie, often sad aspects of the story perfectly for me.

  11. I love this story, Anna! And the one with Patrick Stewart is my favorite. I try to catch a viewing of it every year.

  12. The history behind the story is fun to learn. Self-publishing back then must have been a huge leap of faith. My family is partial to the Muppets' version. Thanks for the post.


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