Christmas is not looking bright for Charles Dickens. His latest novel has proven a massive flop, and that upstart William Thackeray doesn’t miss an opportunity to crow. Bills are rolling in, every relative in creation has his or her hand out, the kids (number steadily increasing) have their hearts set on expensive toys, and Mrs. Dickens has already started making plans for the most elaborate holiday party yet. Oh yes, and Dickens’ publisher is begging him to write a Christmas book when the spirit of Christmas seems to have packed up and moved to Scotland together with Dickens’ exasperated family.
Determined not to give in, Dickens moves to a cheap hotel, rents a room under the name Ebenezer Scrooge, dons the disguise of an old man, and roams the streets of London in pursuit of a mysterious young woman in a purple cloak. And surprise, by the time December 25 rolls around, Dickens has not only recovered his joie de vivre
but penned what may be the world’s most beloved holiday classic, A Christmas Carol
In Mr. Dickens and His Carol
(Flatiron Books, 2018), Samantha Silva
takes events we all know from childhood and, through the application of a light touch and a gifted imagination, turns them into a story at once comfortably familiar and delightfully different.
C. P. Lesley is the author of eight novels, including Legends of the Five Directions (
The Golden Lynx, The Winged Horse, The Swan Princess,
The Vermilion Bird, and
The Shattered Drum), a historical fiction series set in 1530s Russia, during the childhood of Ivan the Terrible. Find out more about her at http://www.cplesley.com.