December 19, 1843 was the day when Christmas was given a gift that continues to keep on giving. “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens was published in London by Chapman and Hall. To be clear, others had written stories and poems about Christmas, but “A Christmas Carol” was different; for in those marvelous staves, Charles Dickens spoke to the heart of poverty, despair, and the plight of young children. Best of all, he offered redemption to a world longing for fairness and compassion.
“For it is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child Himself.” Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens wrote from bitter experience. In 1824, when only 12 years old, he saw his father, along with his mother and young siblings, incarcerated in the dreaded Marshalsea Prison for debt to a baker. To support his family and pay for his lodgings, Charles left school to work 10-hour days in a boot-blacking factory. Outside of work without the benefit of family, he roamed the street, exposed to danger and exploitation. These traumatic events left an indelible influence that would later be validated in his brilliant characters and narratives. The strength and endurance of his message was embedded within the struggles of ordinary people.
Every year, upon entering December, I listen to a reading of a Christmas Carol. My favourite reader of A Christmas Carol is Stephen Humphreys, husband of my dear friend, Liz Humphreys, from the blog, Leaping Life.
According to Liz, one of Stephen’s favourite annual traditions is to read “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens. Sometimes it is just to himself. Sometimes it is a special treat for her to hear him read out loud while she knits.
Last year, Stephen shared his reading of A Christmas Carol via Anchor and Spotify. In his podcast blurb, Stephen says
“For the best part of the last thirty years, I have read A Christmas Carol in the days before Christmas each year. Last year my wife asked me to read it aloud to her. At her suggestion, I have done so again in this podcast. I hope you will enjoy the journey with Ebenezer Scrooge as he is visited by Three Spirits at the intercession of his dead partner Jacob Marley. I profess no great acting skill, but I do hope my love for this book comes across in the telling.” Stephen Humphreys
I invite you listen as Stephen reads this unforgettable story.
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens: Stave 5 The End of It – A Christmas Carol
- A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens: Stave 5 The End of It
- A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens: Stave 4 The Last of the Spirits
- A Christmas Carol By Charles Dickens: Stave 3 The Second of the Three Spirits
- A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens Stave 2: The First of the Three Spirits
- A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens Stave 1 Marley's Ghost