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Author profile: Charles Dickens was born in England on February 7, 1812. He was the second of eight children, and his father was a clerk in the Navy Pay Office. As a child, Dickens' health was frail and his education was random. The boy was also interested in theatre and his first written work was a tragedy. At the age of nine, he was schooled with a neighbour’s child, and when his father was transferred to London, Dickens stayed behind for a while in Chatham for his schooling.
His father was in debt, and so the Dickens family resided with him in Marshalsea Prison. Charles found work at household tasks and took a room for himself on one of the poor streets of London at the age of twelve; he was also sent to school for a few more years before he became a clerk. He moved up from there to become a stenographer at several newspapers. In 1833 his first published piece appeared in the Monthly Magazine signed with his brother's nickname and later he published any others articles for newspapers.
For the next thirty years Dickens wrote novels until he died: A Christmas Carol (1836), Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (1839), The Personal History of David Copperfield (1850), Little Dorrit (1857), A Tale of Two Cities (1859), and Great Expectations (1861).
In 1865, Charles had a slight stroke that left his legs useless, but even this break in his health did not deter him from his active lifestyle of travel and work. He was working on The Mystery of Edwin Drood the day before he died. He was stricken with apoplexy and died the next day. Dickens was buried in Westminster Abbey in London.

First edition: This story was written by Charles Dickens in 1836 and the first edition for the publishing house “Loffredo Editore” appeared in 2001.

Narrative modes: The book is structured in five long chapters. In the text we can find lots of descriptive and narrative parts; for this motive, the reading of this novel results lengthy and a little bit boring. The only dialogues are between Scrooge and the three spirits.

Narrator: In the texts we have a third person narrator who tells us the course of facts.

Setting of the story: The actions take place in the little country where Scrooge lived, December 24, during the evening before Christmas. The year isn’t specified.

Description of the main characters:
• Ebenezer Scrooge: Scrooge is a hard, cold miser who spends his days counting his profits and who likes leave alone. He doesn't believe in charity and his entire life is his business. His nephew is the only relative he has.
• Bob Cratchit: Cratchit is an accountant who works for Scrooge, and he is a kind and loving family man. The greatest sorrow in Cratchit's life is that his young son, Tiny Tim, is very ill and his salary is so meagre that the family can’t afford treatments for him.
• Jacob Marley: Marley was once Scrooge's business partner but he died seven years ago and now he returns as a ghost to warn Scrooge of the horrors that await him unless he changes his ways. Marley also tells Scrooge of the three ghosts who will visit him.
• The Ghost of Christmas Past: The first spirit that visits Scrooge is a curiously childlike apparition with a glowing head; he takes Scrooge on a tour of Christmases in his past.
• The Ghost of Christmas Present: The second spirit that visit Scrooge is a majestic giant clad in a green robe; he escorts Scrooge on a tour of his contemporaries' Holiday celebrations.
• The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come: The third and final spirit that visit Scrooge is a silent phantom clad in a hooded black robe; he shows Scrooge how he will die, a very sad scene.
The others important characters of the story are: Fred (Scrooge’s nephew), Tiny Tim (Bob Cratchit's youngest son), Fan (Scrooge's sister) and Mrs. Cratchit (Bob's wife).

Plot: Ebenezer Scrooge is a miserly old man who believes that Christmas is just an excuse for people to miss work and for idle people to expect handouts. He doesn't believe in all of the good cheer and charity that the season promotes, and he makes sure everyone knows it.
During the Christmas Eve, he rejects a Christmas dinner invitation from his jolly nephew Fred and he goes to bed early.
That night, Scrooge is visited by the ghost of his former business associate, Jacob Marley, a man who was as greedy and cold as Scrooge is. Marley warns Scrooge that if he continues to live so selfishly, he will be very unhappy and he tells him that three spirits will come to visit his house over the next three nights.
Ebenezer falls asleep and wakes up to find the Ghost of Christmas Past, a small, elderly figure. The Ghost shows Scrooge scenes from the past that trace Scrooge's development from a young boy, lonely but happy, to a young man with the first traces of greed.
Then, the Ghost of Christmas Present arrives and shows him several current scenes of Christmas joy and charity and the Cratchit household. The Ghost informs Scrooge that Cratchit’s young son, Tiny Tim, will die because his family can’t afford treatments a cause of the meagre salary.
The silent, black-dressed Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come replaces the other ones. He shows Ebenezer several scenes of people discussing someone's death; he finally discovers that he is the one who has died and whose death has only pleased people.
Scrooge awakes on Christmas morning a new man. He becomes jolly, charitable and friendly with everybody.

Message of the book: The message of the book is: “if you are brave and you have a stronger willpower, you can change your character in positive”.

Personal opinion: The narration is very exciting and interesting but it is written with a quite affected and complicated language that makes the text boring (I’ve try to take a 4-5 Level but it’s too difficult). In general I like this book because the plot is very charming and fascinating and it tells about a touching story that makes us reflect.