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AChristmas Carol

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Charles Dickens was a brilliant and prolific writer, probably the most famous nineteenth century ... Read More

Product Description

Charles Dickens was a brilliant and prolific writer, probably the most famous nineteenth century English novelist. He was very successful during his lifetime and his books have never been out of print. The exciting plots and fantastic characters in his books have meant they have all been adapted (in some cases, many times over) for television or the big screen.
Charles Dickens was born on 7 February 1812 in Portsmouth. He was one of eight children, and at first his family enjoyed a happy life in the countryside of Kent. But Dickens’ father was not very good at managing his money, and when the family fell into financial difficulties they had to move to London. In Dickens’ time people who could not pay their debts were sent to a kind of prison, and Dickens’ father eventually ended up in one of these debtor’s prisons, called the Marshalsea. Charles was forced to leave school and go to work in a ‘blacking factory’ where he pasted labels on to pots for many hours a day. Even though Charles was only twelve at this time, he understood that without education he would never escape the poverty that had so entrapped his family. Charles often used his childhood experiences in his books. For instance, in David Copperfield, the hero Davy is taken out of school by his cruel stepfather and sent to work in a similar factory. Another novel, Little Dorrit, is set in and around the Marshalsea prison.
Fortunately Charles was eventually sent back to school. He went to work as a lawyer’s clerk, and then as a political reporter. In 1833 he began to publish short stories and essays in newspapers and magazines. His first book, The Pickwick Papers, was published in instalments in a monthly magazine, and was a roaring success. Even before this book was finished, Charles began writing another novel, Oliver Twist. This is one of his most famous books – perhaps you’ve read it, or seen the musical or one of the film adaptations? Many other novels followed and Dickens became a celebrity in America as well as Britain. He also set up and edited the journals Household Words (1850-9) and All the Year Round (1859-70). Dickens used his books to highlight the suffering of the poor, the inadequate support provided to them, and the massive inequalities between the different ranks of society. This social and political commentary was very influential and it is believed Dickens’ work did a great deal to reform workhouses, prisons, and most particularly public opinion of the working classes. Charles travelled all over Britain and America giving public readings from his books. He was a wonderful performer(at one point he had wanted to be an actor) and his readings were said to be electrifying – women in the audience would scream and faint when he read about the murder of Nancy from Oliver Twist. His readings were therefore extremely popular, and on some occasions Dickens only charged a penny for tickets so that poorer people could also attend. In later years, these energetic readings took a terrible toll on his failing health. Dickens died after stroke on 9 June 1870, leaving his last novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, unfinished. He is buried in Westminster Abbey.

Curl up with ultimate beloved Christmas classic!

'Bah! Humbug!'

Mr Scrooge is a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, miserable old man. Nobody stops him in the street to say a cheery hello; nobody would dare ask him for a favour. And I hope you'd never be so foolish as to wish him a 'Merry Christmas'! Scrooge doesn't believe in Christmas, charity, kindness - or ghosts.

But one cold Christmas Eve, Scrooge receives some unusual visitors who show him just how very mistaken he's been...

BACKSTORY: Learn all about how the author Charles Dickens invented Christmas!

It has it all: a spooky ghost story, a heartwarming redemption and a great plot with a satisfyingly endingA story which, perhaps more than any other, sums up the spirit of the British ChristmasA little masterpiece...irresistibleMarley's ghostly face on the knocker of Scrooge's door still gives me the shiversSo what makes these different to any other set of classics? In a moment of inspiration Random House had the bright idea of actually asking Key stage 2 children what extra ingredients they could add to make children want to read. And does it work? Well, put it this way...my 13-year-old daughter announced that she had to read a book over the summer holiday and, without any prompting, spotted The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas...and proceeded to read it! Now, if you knew my 13-year-old daughter, you would realise that this is quite remarkable. She reads texts, blogs and tags by the thousand - but this is the first book she has read since going to high school, so all hail Vintage Classics!

Product Details

Title: AChristmas Carol
Author: Charles Dickens
SKU: BK0022516
EAN: 9780099573753
Language: eng

About Author

Charles Dickens was born in Hampshire on February 7, 1812. His father was a clerk in the navy pay office, who was well paid but often ended up in financial troubles. When Dickens was twelve years old he was send to work in a shoe polish factory because his family had been taken to the debtors' prison. His career as a writer of fiction started in 1833 when his short stories and essays began to appear in periodicals. The Pickwick Papers, his first commercial success, was published in 1836. The serialisation of Oliver Twist began in 1837. Many other novels followed and The Old Curiosity Shop brought Dickens international fame and he became a celebrity in America as well as Britain. Charles Dickens died on 9 June 1870. He is buried in Westminster Abbey.

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