A Christmas Carol
Seven years after the death of his business partner Jacob Marley, a miserable old man named Ebenezer Scrooge is working in his office. He hates happiness, love, family, generosity, Christmas, and probably also puppies. When his nephew Fred invites him over to Christmas dinner, Scrooge yells at him and refuses. Scrooge then tells off the people collecting charity donations, and grumbles and complains that the fact that his clerk Bob Cratchit gets a paid day off for Christmas is theft. That night, he is haunted by Marley's ghost, which warns Scrooge that the dead who led bad lives are forced to roam around and not be at peace. The ghost also claims that three other ghosts are going to appear to Scrooge, and leaves after telling Scrooge to change his life before it's too late.
Charles Dickens was born in 1812 near Portsmouth where his father was a clerk in the navy pay office. The family moved to London in 1823, but their fortunes were severely impaired. Dickens was sent to work in a blacking-warehouse when his father was imprisoned for debt. Both experiences deeply affected the future novelist. In 1833 he began contributing stories to newspapers and magazines, and in 1836 started the serial publication of Pickwick Papers. Thereafter, Dickens published his major novels over the course of the next twenty years, from Nicholas Nickleby to Little Dorrit. He also edited the journals Household Words and All the Year Round. Dickens died in June 1870.