What You May Not Have Known About Dickens’ A CHRISTMAS CAROL
This year’s KAMB Christmas Festival of Music also includes the timeless classic from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. The radio adaptation of this novella, first published in 1843, comes to you from Focus on the Family Radio Theatre and airs Friday night, December 23, at 7:00 pm.
It’s widely known that Dickens wrote the novella as a social commentary on his British homeland and the disheartening treatment of the poor, particularly among children in forced labor. He first conceived of this project not as a book, but as a pamphlet with the title, An Appeal to the People of England on behalf of the Poor Man’s Child.1 He rethought the project, and within six weeks penned the finished work.
You know Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, Jacob Marley, and Tiny Tim, but did you also know these interesting facts2:
- A Christmas Carol was just one of several Christmas-themed stories written by Charles Dickens. The novella’s full title is A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas.
- A Christmas Carol was first published on December 19, 1843, with the first edition sold out by Christmas Eve. By 1844, the novella had gone through 13 printings and continues to be a robust seller more than 175 years later.
- Dickens had a lifelong devotion to helping the underserved due to his own family’s experiences with debtors’ prison, which forced him to drop out of school as a boy and work at a factory. As Dickens’ biographer Michael Slater described, the author thought of A Christmas Carol as a way to, “help open the hearts of the prosperous and powerful towards the poor and powerless….”
- Though it was a runaway best seller, Dickens was very fastidious about the endpapers and how the book was bound, and the price of materials took a big chunk out of his potential profits.
1 Broich, John. April 29, 2021. The Real Reason Charles Dickens Wrote A Christmas Carol. Time. Retrieved November 22, 2022 from https://time.com/4597964/history-charles-dickens-christmas-carol/.
2 Beete, Paulette. December 4, 2020. Ten Things to Know about Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. National Endowment for the Arts. Retrieved November 22, 2022 from https://www.arts.gov/stories/blog/2020/ten-things-know-about-charles-dickens-christmas-carol.