What is it about Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol that propels so many readers, annually, to reread the “ghost story of Christmas” and watch its many film and play productions? What is the fascination? Did people not “get it” the first time, or fifth time, or twentieth time? Or is it, simply, that people are yearly drawn to old friends with whom they have “grown up”, and who have witnessed their “growing up;” friends like Jacob Marley, Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, old Fezziwig, the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future, and, of course, Ebenezer Scrooge. And are people not drawn to the wonderful themes in the story that weave in and around the true meaning of Christmas?

But what of the man who penned the Carol? What was he like—the writer, husband, father, businessman, social reformer, and friend? What circumstances framed his past and present when he sat down to write the Carol?

Weaving together well-known and little known facts about Dickens, including the trip he took with his wife Catherine to America in 1842, and the secret he took to his grave, Eben Kruge is a story that invites readers into the life of Dickens. Readers will experience with Dickens what triggered his imagination to write the most beloved Christmas story of all time, A Christmas Carol, the first of five short fictions in a six-year period, termed his "Christmas stories," which would include The Chimes (1844), The Cricket on the Hearth (1845), The Battle of Life (1846), and The Haunted Man and the Ghost’s Bargain (1848).

Richard Barlow Adams

Rich Adams, a member of "The Dickens Fellowship (London)" is the author of a story about the man behind the most loved Christmas tale of all time, Eben Kruge: How "A Christmas Carol" Came to be Written...A Story About Charles Dickens.

By Richard Barlow Adams