A Christmas Carol

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Charles Dickens’ novella, written in 1843 when he was 31, which has become intertwined with his reputation and with Christmas itself. Ebenezer Scrooge is the miserly everyman figure whose joyless obsession with money severs him from society and his own emotions, and he is only saved after recalling his lonely past, seeing what he is missing now and being warned of his future, all under the guidance of the ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Yet To Come. Redeemed, Scrooge comes to care in particular about one of the many minor characters in the story who make a great impact, namely Tiny Tim, the disabled child of the poor and warm-hearted Cratchit family, with his cry, “God bless us, every one!”

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  • Juliet John No other episodes
    Professor of English Literature and Dean of Arts and Social Sciences at City, University of London
  • Jon Mee 2 episodes
    Professor of Eighteenth-Century Studies at the University of York
  • Dinah Birch 13 episodes
    Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Cultural Engagement and Professor of English Literature at the University of Liverpool

Reading list

  • Eternal Returns: A Christmas Carol's Ghosts of Repetition
    Brandon Chitwood (Victorian Literature and Culture, 2015)
  • The Lives and Times of Ebeneezer Scrooge
    Paul Davis (Yale University Press, 1990) Google Books →
  • A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Books
    Charles Dickens (ed. Robert Douglas-Fairhurst) (Oxford University Press, 2006) Google Books →
  • Becoming Dickens
    Robert Douglas-Fairhurst (Harvard, 2011) Google Books →
  • Film Form: Essays in Film Theory
    Sergei Eisenstein (ed. Jay Leyda. Harcourt (Mariner Books, 1969) Google Books →
  • A Christmas Carol and Its Adaptations
    Fred Guida (McFarland & Company, 2000) Google Books →
  • Spectacular Sympathy: Visuality and Ideology in Dickens's Christmas Carol
    Audrey Jaffe (PMLA, 1994)
  • Dickens and Mass Culture
    Juliet John (Oxford University Press, 2010) Google Books →
  • Dickens's Villains: Melodrama, Character Popular Culture
    Juliet John (Oxford University Press, 2001) Google Books →
  • Charles Dickens in Context
    Sally Ledger and Holly Furneaux (eds) (Cambridge University Press, 2011) Google Books →
  • The Annotated Christmas Carol
    John Leech (ed.) (Norton, 2003)
  • The Oxford Handbook of Charles Dickens
    Robert Patten et al (Oxford University Press, 2018)
  • A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Writings
    Michael Slater (ed.) (Penguin Books, 2003)
  • Dickens and the Dream of Cinema
    Grahame Smith (Manchester University Press, 2014) Google Books →
  • Charles Dickens: A Life
    Claire Tomalin (Viking, 20011) Google Books →

Related episodes

Programme ID: m0012fl5

Episode page: bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0012fl5

Auto-category: 823.8 (English fiction–19th century)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello. In 1843, Charles Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol, a work which, like Dickens' reputation, has become intertwined with Christmas itself.