I’d like to share some more things that might have inspired Dickens to write A Christmas Carol. I’ll start with his own work from “The Pickwick Papers” which has a wonderful segment about Christmas in CHAPTER XXIX. THE STORY OF THE GOBLINS WHO STOLE A SEXTON
Mr Wardle is the owner of a farm in Dingley Dell who tells the story about Goblins that carried away a sexton named Gabriel Grub on Christmas eve.
Here’s an illustration of Gabriel and the Goblin which foreshadows the ghosts of a Christmas Carol to come.
Dickens also wrote about Christmas in Sketches by Boz (which was his alias) in the story called “A Christmas Dinner”
Possible other influences
How Mr. Chokepear Keeps a Merry Christmas by Douglas Jerrold which appeared in Punch magazine might have been an inspiration for Mr. Scrooge.
The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent.by Washington Irving (The Stephen King of his time) – There is little doubt that the delightful tales about Christmas in England some twenty years earlier by the legendary Washington Irving inspired Charles Dickens to write about Christmas in his time.
Here are the Christmas stories:
Charles Dickens travelled to America in 1842 (just before writing A Christmas Carol) and met Edgar Allan Poe and then visited the penitentiaries in Pennsylvania. Many believe that this trip greatly inspired and influenced Dickens in writing his classic tale though I’ve never heard or read anyone mentioning Poe’s influence whatsoever. I do believe Poe had some type of impact on Dickens and this story though we will never have any proof of it. Poe reminds me so much of Bob Cratchet and how much he loved his wife and family despite being completely poverty stricken. Perhaps he conveyed all this to Dickens who made mental note of it all?