A Christmas Carol

Now that we’re reaching the end of a thoroughly damp and gloomy January, tonight I’m in the mood to revisit the boozy, chocolate-filled week where I, ensconced in my two (yes two!) new dressing gowns, finally settled down to read A Christmas Carol by Dickens.

Surely any reader worth his/her onions is familiar with the very essence of this wonderful ghost story, even those of you who have been living in a hole in the ground for the past 170 years and might have missed the countless theatric and filmic adaptations (yes, including the muppets) of this undeniable classic. After spending a great deal of energy banishing poor Kermit from my mind’s eye, I found myself completely enthralled by Scrooge’s surprisingly witty repartee and the appearance of characters and scenes that I know inside out, despite this being my very first read.

Ebenezer Scrooge is a solitary, miserly old man, so frosty towards his fellow man that;
‘He carried his own low temperature always about with him; he iced his office in the dogdays; 

and didn’t thaw it one degree at Christmas…
No warmth could warm, no wintry weather chill him.  No wind that blew was bitterer than he…’

Following a chilling visit from the spirit of his late business partner Jacob Marley (above), Scrooge is faced with the dire warning that he must change his miserly ways or else be faced with an afterlife of purgatory and suffering. He will be, whether he likes it or not, visited by the ghosts of his Christmases past, present and future who will confront him with his wrongs and (hopefully!) change Scrooge’s ways for the better.

What better way to get into the festive spirit than this wonderfully moral tale, set historically in some very dark, very mean times. As well as the obviously honourable message that Dickens conveys here (with much conviction), he gives us enough frisson and, surprisingly, amusement, to keep the story flowing:

‘Though he looked the phantom through and through, and saw it standing before him; though he felt the chilling influence of its death-cold eyes; and marked the very texture of the folded kerchief bound about its head and chin, which wrapper he had not observed before: he was still incredulous, and fought against his senses…
You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato.  There’s more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!”‘

What do you all think of A Christmas Carol? And I suppose because it’s the great author’s 200th birthday this year, what do we all think of Charles Dickens in general? I think it may be time for a re-read. The recent televised adaptation of Great Expectations was really quite tantalising…

8 thoughts on “A Christmas Carol

  1. I love A Christmas Carol! I was going to re-read it this Christmas but just didn't get the time. I also really enjoyed the adaptation of Great Expectations. I can't believe I've never read it – It's on my Must Read list for this year!


  2. Ah hah! I suppose that almost reaches the levels of me not having read 'Rebecca' until last year 🙂 I plan to re-read Great Expectations this year (last time must have been at least 10 years ago) Looking forward to a read-along with you!


  3. Hi, I hope you don't mind but I've recommended you for a Liebster Blog award which is for blogs with less than 200 followers that deserve a wider readership. As you haven't been going that long I imagine this is true? If you want to collect your award please go back to my blog and copy the image. Then, if you feel like it, pass it on to another five of your favourite blogs.I've really been enjoying following your posts.


  4. I read A Christmas Carol to my 8 year old this Christmas. I was a bit worried that he wouldn't understand the 19th language (and be frightened of the ghosts) but he seemed to really enjoy it.


  5. Hi VictoriaAs I'm sure you'll be able to tell from the over-excited message I've just left on your lovely blog, I'm thrilled to be chosen in your 5 'Liebster Blogs'. I am indeed a fledgling blogger, having only been up and running for a year or so, and it's just so encouraging to meet like-minded bloggers/readers like yourself. I will certainly be having a reflect on my own Liebster blogs…


  6. Hi JoanneI can't wait for the day it comes to read such wonderful and important story to my own children. Although you would think the 19th century prose might be a bit too lofty at times I just think Dickens writes so vividly and quite simply really that everyone can appreciate it. A Christmas Carol is so dramatic and really quite funny I would think it'd be quite brilliant to read aloud. Nice to hear your thoughts!


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