There is now no doubt about the place of Charles Dickens in English Literature but it wasn’t always the case. His novels had a powerful impact on Victorian society, Bleak House brought about a change in the law.
However, A Christmas Carol is something else. It was the first “Christmas” book written, sold out on publication in early December 1843 and there was a subsequent huge rise in charitable giving. That’s quite an achievement but this wonderful film on Netflix tells a fictionalised account of its writing.
As he struggles to write after two less than successful novels he seeks inspiration. As we follow him through the story we see where the inspiration comes for writers, in everyday encounters, overheard conversations, people he meets. We see (literally) the characters slowly come to life and take on their own characters. As someone who writes fiction, there is that perfect visualisation where a character has a mind of his or own and leads you in directions you weren’t planning.