Q:

Why did Charles Dickens write "A Christmas Carol"?

A:

Quick Answer

There were two significant reasons why Charles Dickens wrote "A Christmas Carol." The first was the fact that his latest book was not selling and led him into serious financial trouble. The second was a visit to the industrial city of Manchester in 1843, where he saw the plight of the poor and felt the need to comment on the wide gap between them and the rich.

Know More
Why did Charles Dickens write "A Christmas Carol"?
Credit: Mraz Center for the Performing Arts CC-BY-2.0

Full Answer

Dickens first achieved popularity with his 1837 novel "The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club." He would go on to write "Oliver Twist" in 1838 and "Nicholas Nickleby" in 1839. However, it wouldn't be until he released the novel "The Old Curiosity Shop" in 1841 that he would gain fame across the Atlantic. As a result, Dickens visited America in 1842. He did not enjoy his visit and put all his negative experiences in a book called "American Notes," which alienated many of his American fans.

Back in England, Dickens authored "Martin Chuzzlewit." However, it was not well received, and Dickens ended up owing his publisher money. When he visited Manchester, Dickens spoke at a charity event for the Manchester Athenaeum, which helped bring education and culture to the working class. Addressing the working class affected him greatly, and thinking about their situation gave him inspiration for the story. He finished his manuscript in six weeks, just in time for Christmas, where it became an instant hit both critically and with the public.

Learn more about Classics

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is Charles Dickens famous for?

    A:

    Charles Dickens is famous for his classic works of literature, including "Oliver Twist," "Nicholas Nickleby," "A Tale of Two Cities," "David Copperfield" and "A Christmas Carol." His novel "Great Expectations" is considered to be his finest work.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Where does "A Christmas Carol" take place?

    A:

    "A Christmas Carol" is set in 19th-century London, England. It is a novella that was written by the English author Charles Dickens, and it was first published in 1843 by Chapman and Hall. Its original title is "A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas."

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are the names of the ghosts in "A Christmas Carol"?

    A:

    The three ghosts named in "A Christmas Carol" are the ghosts or spirits of Christmas past, present, and future. These three ghosts tell Ebenezer Scrooge of his future if he does not change his ways.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How did Oliver Twist get his name?

    A:

    Oliver Twist, the main character from the Charles Dickens' book of the same name, was given his name from an alphabetic list of names. The child before Oliver was given the last name "Swubble," while the one after him was called "Unwin."

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore