I have endeavoured in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it.
Their faithful Friend and Servant, C.D.
These are the words with which Charles Dickens introduced A Christmas Carol to his English readers in December, 1843. It would be foolish indeed for this faithful Friend and Servant of yours to pretend that the little tale I am about to recount is anywhere near as worthy as the original upon which it is loosely based. Unlike Dickens, moreover, there may be times when my story does put you out of humor with me.
It’s important to keep in mind that our views of A Christmas Carol are greatly influenced today by knowing how the tale ends. We tend to see Scrooge as an amusing old miser because we know he will ultimately be redeemed by what he sees and experiences on Christmas Eve. But the outcome was far less certain for those who were reading the story for the first time in 1843. They had no guarantee how the story would turn out.
Nor do you with mine. The sub-title offers a hint. But who sins and who is sinned against may not be completely obvious as the story unfolds. Nor can we be certain who, if anyone, will be redeemed or whether redemption will ever definitively cleanse sin away.
All of this is just another way of saying that I’ve tried to engage the full range of emotions in this story, both the good and the bad. Whether you emerge better for having read the tale is ultimately up to you. All of us are human beings. All of us sin and stand in need of redemption.
Chapter 1 is up. It introduces our main character and begins to lay the groundwork for what is to come. You can access Chapter 1 at The Annex. Once there, mouse over the link to the story at the top of the page and select Chapter 1. Alternatively, look to your left, scroll down, and select the link to Chapter 1 provided further down on the page.
Have fun reading and feel free to let me know what you think, either by sending an e-mail or sharing a comment at the end of the chapter.