The Man Who Invented Christmas opens in theaters nationwide Nov. 22. The film is based on a book by FIU Creative Writing Professor Les Standiford. Starring Christopher Plummer as Ebenezer Scrooge and Dan Stevens as Charles Dickens, the film tells the story of how A Christmas Carol came to be. Here are three facts you might not know about Dickens and his classic tale but now do thanks to Standiford’s non-fiction account.
- A Christmas Carol was written and published in just six short weeks. Dickens managed to write the novella and have it typeset, illustrated, bound and delivered to bookstores by Dec. 17 – just in the nick of time for Christmas, about six weeks after the idea first came to him.
- It was a desperate attempt to save his struggling career. In late 1843, Dickens’ writing career seemed ready to collapse after three consecutive flops. The 32-year-old was broke and ready to quit writing novels.
- Publishers rejected it, so he self-published it. When the idea for a “ghost story about Christmas” struck Dickens, his publishers rejected the idea. Undeterred, he published the novella with his own money. The book sold out immediately and ushered in a new way to celebrate the holiday.
A Christmas Carol remains one of the most well-known Christmas stories ever told with countless adaptations gracing televisions, movie screens and theater stages worldwide. From food and drink to family gatherings, charitable giving and the salutation “Merry Christmas!,” it still influences how people celebrate the holiday.