In October of 1844, Charles Dickens and his family were on holiday in Genoa. Having written A CHRISTMAS CAROL the previous year, it was time to start his second Christmas Story. Unfortunately Dickens found that he could not write away from his beloved England. Then, inspiration struck, ignited by the sound of the bells of Genoa.
Dickens began work of THE CHIMES. In his own words, every day he would “blaze away”, wrathful and hot.” As is A CHRISTMAS CAROL, there would be visitations by spirits, and in the end there would be redemption of a wretched soul who came to understand the plight of the poor.
After only four weeks, the manuscript was sent to Engand. Dickens followed, anxious to read it aloud to his friends.
Gathered in a small apartment, Dickens read for over three hours. When he was done, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. It was Dickens at his most radical. His critics called it revolutionary.