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When first published in December of 1843, Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol was hailed instantly as a masterpiece. Since that time, the work has never been out of print. As well, the book has been translated into dozens of languages, adapted into countless stage and film versions, and even made into operas and ballets.
In this penetrating 10,000-word study, Michael Norris tells the complete story behind Dickens's crafting of the tale William Makepeace Thackeray once praised as nothing less than "a national benefit."
Norris dives deep into his topic to discover the altruistic angels and monetary demons which drove Dickens, the public debates and rancor which informed him, and the terrible childhood memories which both haunted and inspired him. Perhaps most importantly, he shows exactly why George Orwell applauded Dickens as a "subversive writer, a radical, one might truthfully say a rebel" as demonstrated in the Carol and other works.
Norris also surveys and introduces Dickens's four subsequent Christmas books - The Chimes, The Cricket on the Hearth, The Battle of Life and The Haunted Man and the Ghost's Bargain. Additionally, he uses first-hand accounts to vividly portray Dickens as a reader and performer of the Carol.
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