A Christmas Carol has delighted audiences since its publication in 1843 in its book form and through the many movies made from its story.
Few people know of Dickens’ connection with religion. A Christmas Carol has many Biblical references, some cleverly hidden within the story. The regeneration of Scrooge mirrors the regeneration of mankind in the Bible. Even with the title, “A Christmas Carol”, Dickens is using the meaning of “carol” familiar to him: a song celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Dickens labels each chapter of his book as a stave, a stanza of a song.
This course contains the entire book as well as “drop down sections” that explain the religious connection to that part of the book. The course also includes references to Dickens life. People who knew Dickens at the time would have recognized some of the characters.
There are 10 articles at the beginning entitled “Background to a Christmas Carol” before the book is introduced.
These include his life, the meaning of Scrooge and particularly the social conditions of 1843, including the poor and the Poor Laws. This book had a significant influence on how Christmas was celebrated afterwards as well as a story with which we can identify. Newspapers reported the news of his passing with the inclusion of a quote, supposedly spoken by a little girl upon hearing of Dickens’ death. “Mr. Dickens dead? Then will Father Christmas die too?”