A Christmas Carol in Prose, Or Being a Ghost Story of Christ.
G. K. Chesterton wrote that Charles Dickens's "greatest work may yet prove to be the perpetuation of the joyful mystery of Christmas." A Christmas Carol is one of Dickens's best works and among the most widely read stories of all time. This popular tale created a universal figure: the unforgettable Scrooge, the inveterate miser who learns the meaning of love.
The heart of A Christmas Carol is Scrooge's relationship with his underpaid clerk, Bob Cratchit. Cratchit is exploited, but this does not turn the Cratchit family against Scrooge – and this Scrooge is unable to understand. Just as the name of Scrooge has grown to mean a "miser" (the word sounds a bit like "squeezing" or "grasping"), the word Cratchit sounds a bit like "crutch." The Cratchit's child, Tiny Tim, is a lame but loving soul, a lamb Scrooge must learn to comfort. Only then will the spirit of Christmas truly descend into the world.
Charles John Huffam Dickens (1812–1870), who also wrote under the pen name "Boz", was the most popular English novelist of the Victorian era. He was a vigorous social campaigner, both in his own personal endeavours as well as through the recurrent themes of his literary enterprise.
Critics George Gissing and G. K. Chesterton championed Dickens's mastery of prose, his endless invention of unique, clever personalities, and his powerful social sensibilities, but fellow writers such as George Henry Lewes, Henry James, and Virginia Woolf faulted his work for sentimentality, implausible occurrences, and grotesque characterizations.
The popularity of Dickens's novels and short stories has meant that they have never gone ... (more)