December 19, 2008

The Friday Record - A Christmas Carol

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.

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!

Anna Kathryn Lanier


Helen Hardt said...

Great post about a true Christmas classic! Our local theater company presents A Christmas Carol every year, and we've seen it several times. My kids love The Muppet Christmas Carol -- and they're 12 and 15!


J K Maze said...

I loved your story about Dicken's Christmas Carol. I watch the movie(s) every year.

Joan Maze

Jennifer Ross said...

Thanks for the great pics, Anna Kathryn. I have a hard time thinking of my characters, who were a little ahead of 1843, not having A Christmas Carol--it is such a classic to me. Almost as bad as they didn't have a phone!

I wonder what those 'cheap' editions are going for today . . .

Paty Jager said...

As a child the Christmas Carol was one Christmas movie I couldn't watch. Scared the Beegees out of me! But when the Muppet Christmas carol came out, it became a Christmas Eve tradition for my kids and I to watch.

Great Post!

Mary Ricksen said...

A classic indeed, I watched every movie made about the story. I loved them all.



I have seen all of the movies but not lately, maybe it's time to watch them again.


Ann Campbell said...

I always loved this story! My kids like the Disney version LOL

Anna Kathryn Lanier said...

Congrats to Mary Ricksen. She won my drawing for commenting today....a copy of A Cowboy's Dream.

Thanks to everyone who commented. It's nice to see how dear this story is to others.

Merry Christmas.

Anna Kathryn

Skhye said...

I heard about this on the news in one of those freak quiet moments when I was walking through the room. LOL. Polar Express is A CHRISTMAS CAROL for kids. ;)

Lise said...

Anna, A Christmas Carol is one of my favorite stories as well. As a child, every Christmas Eve my Father would read it out loud (yes, the ENTIRE thing) and I was riveted every time. I've read it myself over and over again. As for the movie versions - my favorite is the one from the 1950's with Alastair Sim. The ending where he awakes to discover it is Christmas morning and he has time to right his wrongs and gets purely giddy is a delight!

It is a wonderful tale of how we can change and become better people. It is also a wonderful gothic ghost story!

To everyone, everywhere, may your holiday season be filled with the love of friends and family.