About the BookCharles Dickens (1812—1870) was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world’s most memorable fictional characters and is generally regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian period. His novels and short stories continue to be widely popular.
Scrooge, an old miser, hates Christmas, calling it “humbug”. On a Christmas eve, he refuses his nephew Fred’s dinner invitation, and rudely turns away two gentlemen who seek a donation from him to provide a Christmas dinner for the poor. At home that night, Scrooge is visited by his deceased business partner Marley’s ghost, who is forever cursed to wander the earth dragging heavy chains, having spent a life of greed and selfishness. Marley tells Scrooge that he would be visited by three spirits that night, and that he must listen to them or be cursed to carry chains of his own.
The first of the spirits, the Ghost of Christmas Past, takes Scrooge to Christmas scenes of Scrooge’s boyhood and youth, stirring his gentle and tender side, reminding him of a time when he was kinder and innocent. The second spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Present, takes Scrooge to different scenes—a joy-filled market of people buying the makings of Christmas dinner, celebrations of Christmas in a miner’s cottage and in a lighthouse.
The third spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, shows Scrooge a man’s neglected grave, the tombstone bearing Scrooge’s name. Sobbing, Scrooge pledges that he will change his ways in the hope that he may “sponge the writing from this stone”.
Scrooge awakens on Christmas morning with joy and love in his heart. He is now a changed man treating everyone with kindness, generosity, and compassion; he now embodies the spirit of Christmas.