Dickens and Scrooge

A Christmas Carol is one of the most popular books written by Charles Dickens. He wrote it in 1843 and within days it was a best seller. But where did he get the ideas and how was Christmas celebrated at this time? The story of Scrooge and his clerk Bob Cratchit is about rich and poor in London and Dickens was concerned to show how dangerous it was for society to ignore those who struggled to survive. Christmas Carol is not a religious work, indeed it is accused of creating a secular version of the festival. Once the book was on every person’s bookshelf Dickens decided to exploit his popularity – and improve his bank balance – by giving readings to audiences of up to 3,000 people. The reaction was sensational, with one critic exclaiming: “Mr Dickens is the greatest reader of the greatest writer of the age.”  And of course this talk includes extracts from this wonderful classic.