Emerging from Dickens’s preoccupation in the early 1840s with issues of poverty, ignorance, and cruelty, this classic story of Ebeneezer Scrooge, visited by four ghosts on Christmas Eve, was first published in 1843 to strong reviews and popular success. The Broadview edition uses the first edition with original drawings by John Leech.
This edition also includes Washington Irving’s descriptions of English Christmas customs; essays by Dickens on Christmas, and his essay “A Walk in a Workhouse”; a British government report on the lives of child labourers; a speech by Dickens on the importance of educating the poor; selected letters; contemporary reviews; and a listing of film, television, and radio adaptations of the book.
“This volume is a distinguished addition to a superb series. Richard Kelly’s fine edition of Dickens’s ‘timeless classic’ richly documents just how very timely this little book was, being the inspired and inspiring result of Dickens’s passionately humanitarian response to the harshness and brutality with which the poor, especially children of the poor, were treated in the England of 1843. In his substantial introduction, supplemented by a well-chosen selection of contemporary writings, Professor Kelly also demonstrates another notable aspect of the work’s timeliness by situating it in the context of the great revival of traditional Christmas festivities going on during the first half of the nineteenth century.” — Michael Slater, Birkbeck College, University of London