Charles Dickens’ 205th Birthday

7th February 1812 – 9th June 1870



On this day: the publication of A Christmas Carol

Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas. With Illustrations by John Leech. London Chapman & Hall, 1843. First edition. Title page. 1843.

The original 1843 title page.

Charles Dickens’ Christmas classic, A Christmas Carol, was first published on the 19th of December, 1843.

Dickens began the book in September, and it was completed by early December. It took him six weeks to write.

The original copies were sold for five shillings, which would make their value about £22 today. The first run of six-thousand copies was sold out by Christmas Eve.

You can download A Christmas Carol to read for free (Australia, USA, CanadaBritain).

Catherine Dickens

This illustration is of Catherine Hogarth Dickens, Charles Dickens’ wife. Drawn by Samuel Lawrence in 1838, it was completed two years after their wedding. As the years went on, the marriage became an unhappy one, leading to a separation. Amongst their problems was the fact Dickens blamed his wife for their ten children (what a lovely man!), who caused him financial issues.


A Christmas Carol

Of the time I lived in London, a year and a half was spent living and working four streets from the Charles Dickens Museum in Holborn. The building was Dickens’ house in the 1830s. I remember walking the streets with a friend late one Friday night (well, actually it was early Saturday morning – the sun started to rise as we walked!) just so I could show her the building. (We did some rather strange things while living in London!)

Because of my Christmases spent in Dickens’ corner of the world, I feel a little bit attached to A Christmas Carol, which was first published by Chapman & Hall on the seventeenth of December, 1843. That’s today, if you missed the date!

This illustration shows Ebenezer Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Present.

Ebenezer Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Present. From Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, 1843.