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A Christmas book by Charles Dickens (1812–1870), published in 1843. Dickens was prompted to write this morality tale having been ‘perfectly stricken down’ by the appalling revelations published in a parliamentary report on child labour in 1843. A Christmas Carol is an allegory about a penny-pinching misanthrope, Ebenezer Scrooge, who on Christmas Eve receives an unexpected visit from the spectre of his long-dead business partner. Jacob Marley warns Scrooge that three further spirits will haunt him. The Ghost of Christmas Past, The Ghost of Christmas Present, and The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come force Scrooge to confront the consequences of his actions. He is especially horrified by the hardship endured by the family of his clerk, Bob Cratchit. Scrooge’s chastening experiences have a salutary effect: the miser is redeemed and transformed. In the Preface, Dickens wrote ‘I have endeavoured in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it’.
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Professor John Sutherland considers how Dickens’s A Christmas Carol engages with Victorian attitudes towards poverty, labour and the Christmas spirit.
Judith Flanders describes how many of our own Christmas traditions – from trees and crackers to cards and carols – have their origins in 19th-century industrial and commercial interests.
Ragged Schools provided free education for children too poor to receive it elsewhere. Imogen Lee explains the origins and aims of the movement that established such schools, focusing on the London’s Field Lane Ragged School, which Charles Dickens visited.
The influence of economic and political crises on Dickens's A Christmas Carol.
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This list has been compiled to give you a flavour of what Discovering Literature has to offer on Dickens's 'A Christmas Carol'
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