Monday, December 07, 2009

Charles Dickens Worries About His Sales

The New York Times City Room blog is carrying a story on Dickens' handwritten revisions of "A Christmas Carol." This post "A Christmas Rewrite" by Alison Leigh Cowan is a companionable reminder that we all have to revise--and Dickens made at least one major after the copy had gone to the printer.

I was mainly struck by the fact that he wrote this lovable classic, about a cold-hearted rich man who turns generous, under financial pressure himself.

"At the time "A Christmas Carol" was written, Dickens feared for his own future. He had six children to feed, a large house in London to maintain and a lavish lifestyle. Christmas was approaching. Yet the work he was then producing, a few chapters at a time, “Martin Chuzzlewit,’’ was not selling as well as earlier installments of “The Pickwick Papers” or “Nicholas Nickleby.” Bitterly, he confided to a friend that his bank account was bare."

He turned out his Christmas story just in time for the season, but in spite of its golden future, it fared dismally financially that year.

Good (emboldening) to remember these stories, especially knowing the happy ending.

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Debra W said...

Hi Peggy!

Just noticing that you seem to be MIA the last few days. That's not like you, so I hope that you are just busy with holiday cheer and not feeling under the weather!

Thinking about you!

Peggy Payne said...

Just very tightly scheduled, Debbie. Working hard. Things are going to let up about the 23rd, I think. Just in time....

Thanks for asking. I hope things are looking better for the little boy on your blog.

Debra W said...

Glad that you are just busy!

Thank you for thinking about sweet Jack. Unfortunately, his Mom's have had to make the decision to use only palliative care. It is so, so sad and he is such a little warrior. We are trying to get them out to CA at the end of next week so that we can take Jack to Disneyland and to allow them to spend some time at our beach home. Hopefully, they will be able to come. Georgia is just too far away, right now. They moved there several years ago and now I wish they lived right down the road.

Sometimes life just doesn't make any sense.

Peggy Payne said...

Prayers for sweet Jack.