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A Holiday Hit

The first printing of A Christmas Carol was published on December 19th, 1843. All 6,000 copies sold

out by Christmas Eve.

Each book cost

five shillings, which is

equivalent to about $30

in today’s US dollars.

11 editions, along with

many unauthorized

copies, were

released by the end of

1844, and the novella

hasn’t been out of print

since! Dickens’s insistence

on having the finest paper

and binding, among other

details, meant that he

made much less money

from the book than he’d

hoped, despite its

unprecedented success.

The novella brought an

overwhelmingly positive

response from critics and

audiences alike,

encouraging sympathy

and generosity in the

hearts of many. 

Engraved Scenes

Two scenes from a production of A Christmas Carol at the Adelphi Theatre in 1844, only a year after the novella’s publication

The origins of A Christmas Carol

Learn more about the creation of this classic story from The British Library.

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