In London, in the 1820’s, a chimney sweep and a shoemaker founded a volunteer institution to give free instruction to poor children. After a visit to one of these so called “Ragged Schools”, Charles Dickens wrote, “I have very seldom seen in London and elsewhere, anything so shocking as the dire neglect of soul and body exhibited among these children.”
But from that visit also came inspiration and in October of 1843, Dickens threw himself with uncharacteristic fury into writing a new book. By late November, in less than eight weeks, Charles Dickens brought to life some of the most memorable characters in English literature: Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim and the Ghosts of Christmas past, present and future.
A CHRISTMAS CAROL was published ten days before Christmas, 1843 and sold 6000 copies the first day.