On this day in 1843, “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens went on sale. This classic Christmas story is also one of the first self-published works in history.
Dickens conceived and wrote the novella of cold-hearted miser Ebenezer Scrooge being visited by four spirits in the fall of 1843. Because of a disagreement with his publisher, Chapman & Hall, over the poor sales of “The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit” Dickens chose to forgo the typical lump-sum payment for his work. Instead, he financed the publishing and took a percentage of the profits.
The book was an overwhelming success and is now an essential part of the holiday season. However, because of high production costs, Dickens profits from the book were very minimal.