A Christmas Carol in Prose, Being a Ghost-Story of Christmas, aka A Christmas Carol, was written by Charles Dickens and published in London on December 19, 1843, to immediate success. A mere six months after the novella’s debut, the seventh edition had sold out, though Dickens’ profits were meager.
The story is familiar to most of us–the redemptive tale of the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge turned kindly gentleman after a visit from his dead business partner in chains and three ghosts showing him his past, present, and future.
At a time when Dickens’ career was declining, he wanted to write a story that would be heartfelt as well as popular (and make money). But also of importance to him was the plight of the poor, and he knew that telling a good story would do more than an essay or pamphlet ever could.
And was he ever right! A Christmas Carol has never been out of print and has been adapted countless times in movies, stage, and television parodies.