Christmas Carol," by Charles Dickens, is not only a
classic, but one of the best-loved stories ever written.
This tribute site presents the text for your enjoyment,
illustrated with images from my favorite screen
adaptation, the 1951 version starring Alastair Sim in the
role of everyone's favorite miser.
to "A Christmas Carol"
endeavoured in this Ghostly little book,
to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which
shall not put my readers out of humour
with themselves, with each other, with
the season, or with me. May it haunt
their houses pleasantly, and no one wish
to lay it."
Dickens, December, 1843.
Dickens expressed how he felt about
Christmas most eloquently when he put
these words in the mouth of Fred,
Scrooge's affable nephew: "...I
am sure I have always thought of
Christmas time, when it has come round --
apart from the veneration due to its
sacred name and origin, if anything
belonging to it can be apart from that --
as a good time: a kind, forgiving,
charitable, pleasant time: the only time
I know of, in the long calendar of the
year, when men and women seem by one
consent to open their shut-up hearts
freely, and to think of people below them
as if they really were fellow-passengers
to the grave, and not another race of
creatures bound on other journeys.
And therefore, though it has never put a
scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I
believe that it has done me good,
and will do me good; and I say,
God bless it!"
To that I can only add a hearty
"Amen," for it sums up my
feelings about it in a way I could never
|One day, when
I am in Heaven by the grace
of God, I intend
to seek out and meet Charles
Dickens (who also trusted in the grace
of God through Christ) and tell him just how
much his story, "A Christmas
Carol," has meant to me.
Here, on Earth, my attempt at
words would be inadequate; but in
Heaven, where we shall "know
even as we are known," mere
human vocabulary will be no
hinderance to full expression of
my appreciation for writing such
an inspiring and heart-warming
something about the book that lifts it
above all others written by the author;
indeed, above all other fictional works
written by anyone. When compared to the
author's other writings, "A
Christmas Carol" stands uniquely
apart as sheer perfection. One could
almost feel it was Heaven-inspired,
considering the effect it had on not only
the readers (or hearers), but on Dickens
himself, as he wrote it.
The act of writing A Christmas
Carol moved Dickens most profoundly.
During its composition, he wrote a friend
that he "wept and laughed, and wept
again, and excited himself in a most
extraordinary manner in the composition;
and thinking whereof, he walked about the
black streets of London fifteen and
twenty miles many a night, when all the
sober folks had gone to bed."
The public was equally enthralled by
it. Writing of his first audiences at a
reading of the Carol he said,
'They lost nothing, misinterpreted
nothing, followed everything closely,
laughed and cried, and animated me to
that extent that I felt we were all
bodily going up into the clouds
through the decades since it was written
have tried to express what it means to
them. Since the story's first
publication, people whom it moved deeply
have reached within their own talents to
sing its praises. In the February 3, 1844
issue of the Illustrated London News,
someone wrote and contributed this poem
about Dicken's holiday tale:
TO CHARLES DICKENS, ON
HIS "CHRISTMAS CAROL."
Genius! When its lofty speech
Stirs through the soul, and wakes
its echoing strings:
But honour tenfold! When its
The selfish heart, and there let
loose the springs
Of pity, gushing
blood-warm from a breach
Rent in its close-bound, stony
Yea! Tenfold honour, and the love
The kind, the good, attend on
And bless and sanctify those
Such words, Charles Dickens,
truly have been thine;
And thou hast earned true glory
with all love:
Long may the torch of Christmas
Upon thy home, while voices from
Music thy carol and again impart
Mirth and good tidings to the
poor man's heart.
-W. W. G.
exposure to this story, as a
child, was in the form of the
1951 film by George Minter
Sim as Scrooge, which has remained my
favorite throughout the years.
The film brings to vivid life the
chilly bareness of London in
winter, and Scrooge's equally
cold and empty soul. The emotion
generated by Scrooge's
realization of his past losses,
and the warmth of his subsequent
change, are felt all the more
against this stark backdrop.The
feelings of joy brought by his
new beginning are equalled by no
other actor or adaptation. Sim
brings a real personality to the
role, making Scrooge a real
person, rather than merely a
stereotypical old curmudgeon.
this film that caused me to seek out and
read the original story, which was an
even richer experience, and the yearly
reading of which has made all of my
Christmases since brighter and merrier.
(For a closer look at the film, and what
it contributes to the story Dickens
wrote, click here.) One of my favorite Christmas
Eve traditions as I grew up was to take
out the worn hard-back edition of the
book that my mother had been given when
she was a child. The pages were somewhat
yellowed, and the pages becoming brittle,
but it was the very oldness of the
volume-- the slightly musty smell of the
paper, the cracked binding-- that made it
all the more special. It somehow
connected me in a more intimate way with
the events of the story, which was old in
itself. And having been named after the
character of Scrooge's persistantly
cheerful nephew, Fred, how could I not
Through the years, and
over the course of several moves, the
book was somehow lost. But a few years
ago while moving into another home we had
just bought, I opened the closet in the
empty room that was going to be home
office, and found-- the only item left in
the house-- a old edition of slim red
book. Picking it up, I read the title
with amazement; "A Christmas
Carol." It seemed a confirmation of
the rightness of having moved there. This
is now the version I take out each
Christmas season and read through a
number of times. How the story affects
me! Like meeting old friends and family
on the holidays, reading anew about each
familiar character, event and location in
the story brings joy.
||When I am on
the road during the holiday
season, I always listen to my
tapes of Patrick Stewart doing a
dramatic reading of the story. No
finer reading has ever been made,
in my opinion. So memorable is
his interpretation that it has
influenced my reading of the
story, and as I read it now, I
hear in my mind Stewart's
inflections, making it even more
devoted to that performance, as
well as the 1999 TNT movie
featuring Stewart in the role of
holiday favorite is listening to
the radio version originally
aired live in 1939 on the CBS
Campbell Playhouse broadcast.
Featuring Lionel Barrymore as
Scrooge, narrated by Orson
Welles, and produced by the
famous Mercury Radio Theatre
troupe, this excellent broadcast
is a piece of pre-War history
that illustrates live radio at
it's best. It's hard to imagine,
listening to it in our day, just
how much work and effort went
into producing a live broadcast
of this complexity. You can enjoy
it for yourself on CD, now
available for ordering on this
site, by going to this page.
always makes it a point to watch
Sim's 1951 film at least a couple
of times during December. Not to
miss any of the other wonderful
versions; we watch those as well
(especially the excellent musical
starring Albert Finney).
The source story
is so powerful that it is
effective in any form;
even when many of its
familiar characters are
animated, as in Disney's
excellent version, or portrayed by
Muppets, as in the
enjoyably comic (yet
touchingly, reverent) "Muppet
But none seem to
capture the spirit of the
book as well as Sim's
version, nor any actor as
brilliant in the role as
he. For that reason I
have scattered images
from the film throughout
the story on this site,
where it compliments the
text. I hope that you
enjoy this melding of the
two, and that this site
helps make your holiday a
The story of
Scrooge, Marley, Tiny
Tim, and the rest, is so
familiar to people from
the various adaptations,
that many assume they
know the story... but
when hard-pressed to
recall having actually
sat down to read it,
realise that they never
actually have! If you
have never read Dicken's
book, then you are
missing out on the
greatest appreciation and
enjoyment of the story.
No visual reproduction
could ever touch the
magic of the prose that
he created. This site is
maintained in the hopes
of encouraging the
reading of the story, and
sharing that magic...
whether for the first
time, or another
wonderful time of many.
echo Tiny Tim, "God
bless us, every
Passmore Email me here!
The First of the
The Second of
the Three Spirits
The Last of the
The End of It
and Film Versions
Information about the 1951 version with
Alastair Sim, with photos, comparisons to the
novel and excerpts from the soundtrack.
Information about the 1939
radio version produced
by Orson Welles and starring Lionel Barrymore.
Information about the BBC radio version starring Michael Gough.Also the 1975
CBS Radio Mystery Theater version starring E.G.
Information about Disney's "A
short animated feature -Updated with a
Information about "Scrooge," the 1970
musical version starring
Albert Finney -Updated with new photos!
Information about the Muppet's
Christmas Carol -Updated
with a new article!
Information about Rich Little's one-man version
of "A Christmas
Information about the 1971 Chuck Jones animated film featuring Alastair Sim
as the voice of Scrooge!
Information about Patrick
Stewart's one-man performance of the book, as
well as his 1999 movie adaptation. -Updated with a
Updates on the new big-screen version of
"A Christmas Carol" starring Jim Carrey.
items and pages that are part of this site:
Essays by Dickens
tree is decorated with bright merriment, and
song, and dance, and cheerfulness. And they are
welcome. Innocent and welcome be they ever held,
beneath the branches of the Christmas Tree, which
cast no gloomy shadow!"
So writes Charles
Dickens concerning a tradition that even in his
day was precious. Enjoy his essay "The Christmas Tree," as he recollects the joy it brought to
can be insensible to the outpourings of good
feeling, and the honest interchange of
affectionate attachment, which abound at this
season of the year? A Christmas family-party! We
know nothing in nature more delightful! There
seems a magic in the very name of
The family seated
around the Christmas dinner table is a treasured
time that becomes forever etched in our hearts.
Enjoy Dicken's essay, "A Christmas Dinner," as he relates the joys it brings.
friend, lost child, lost parent, sister, brother,
husband, wife, we will not so discard you! You
shall hold your cherished places in our Christmas
hearts, and by our Christmas fires; and in the
season of immortal hope, and on the birthday of
immortal mercy, we will shut out Nothing!"
In his short
essay, "What Christmas Is
As We Grow Older,"
Dickens encourages us to not forget the past joys
and loves we have known, in order to shut out the
pain of loss. Rather, we defeat the loss by
celebrating the memories of times and people once
close to us.
children, I am very anxious that you should know
something about the History of Jesus Christ. For
everybody ought to know about Him." -Charles
forgot the Source of the holiday cheer he spread
about with his writings, or the meaning of the
silent night in Bethlehem so long ago. In this
excerpt from his private story written for his
children, "The Life of Our Lord,"
Dickens explains simply in his own words "The Christmas Story."
Christmas Carol" Artwork and Illustrations
Complete scan of "A Christmas Carol" comic book
adaptation from the
70's by Marvel Comics!
Enjoy scenes from the story in these period
Classics Illustrated "A Christmas
Carol" cover #1.
Classics Illustrated "A Christmas
Carol" cover #2.
Pendulum's Illustrated Stories "A Christmas
A Dean Morrissey painting of Scrooge outside his London business. The print
can be bought here.
Montage of scenes from the novel by artist Jeffrey Bedrick made for a
puzzle, which can be bought here.
See Scrooge in
various ads for merchandise that make him
resources outside of this site:
the entire "Classics
Illustrated" adaptation of the Dickens story.
Jim Hill, Disney
expert and all-around entertainment industry
reviewer, writes an informative and entertaining
series of articles on the many incarnations of
Scrooge on his excellent site.
Read the story behind of the
writing of this most-loved Christmas story here, as originally published in Reader's
According to Dickens: A series of articles by
Rev. Dr. Mark D. Roberts.
Christmas: an excellent site!
incredible table-top reproduction of Dicken's
London on this page.
In an essay on
his favorite Christmas videos, columnist C. W. Oberleitner examines the
best adaptations of "A Christmas Carol"
film as viewed through the eyes of a horror movie
Very Scary Christmas!