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