Fittingly, Dickens wrote the novella while somewhat impoverished in the fall of 1843. To ensure the book's affordability when published the week before Christmas 1843, he paid for the production costs himself and set the price at a low five shillings. These expenses, coupled with rabid piracy, financially offset the wild success of A Christmas Carol, and Dickens earned much less than expected. Nevertheless, his most popular work?and perhaps the most popular artistic work associated with Christmas?continues to dominate our idea of Christmas through numerous film and theater reincarnations and ritual readings.
The antagonist of the John R. Neill book The Scalawagons of Oz , the thirty-fifth entry in the Oz series created by L. Frank Baum , is a mysterious monstrosity called Bell-snickle. It first appears as "a large bluish-green object, flat as a buckwheat cake, and rolling along on its edge like a cartwheel." The creature does have arms and legs, as well as facial features; it wears bells on its ears, explaining at least one portion of its name. The creature has the egotism and petulance of a spoiled child. [ citation needed ]
It is hard to believe that there is anyone on the planet who is not familiar with the story of A Christmas Carol. Written in a six-week period in October and November of 1843, the novel was the first of five short Christmas books published by Charles Dickens. Obviously, it was the most successful novel in the series. In fact, he was so certain that people would like his story that he refused to sell the rights to his publisher and instead paid to publish it himself. His instincts proved correct, and soon after its publication all of the copies were sold.