Christmas was a festive celebration in Victorian England. During this time, Christmas cards and Christmas crackers first appeared. Also, thanks to Prince Albert, the English began to place decorated Christmas trees in their homes. During this early time of Christmas, between mid-October and the end of November in 1843, Charles Dickens wrote the masterpiece called A Christmas Carol. Dickens wrote of a miser, Scrooge, who finds the Christmas spirit through a series of ghosts who appear in his dreams. Scrooge awakens on Christmas Day a changed man. He opens his heart to all. The story ends with Tiny Tim’s “God Bless Us, Every One!”
A Christmas Carol has been available in print for nearly 164 years. Throughout it’s life, this classic tale has had many illustrators. The original manuscript, which was illustrated by John Leech, is housed at the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York City. Dickens insisted on overseeing its printing because the story was one of his favorite works. A facsimile of this original manuscript is available for purchase.In 1914, one of England’s best loved illustrators, Arthur Rackham, illustrated the tale, breathing new life into the classic story. Rackham gave flawless interpretations of Scrooge, Tiny Tim, Bob Cratchit, Marley and the other characters. No matter what edition you may own, reading A Christmas Carol always evokes the true meaning of Christmas for everyone.