Charles Dickens visited Yorkshire to research boys schools for his novel Nicholas Nickleby. Whilst here he stayed with his good friend Mr Smithson and no doubt visited his brother Albert Dickens,who lived in Malton. When Dickens came to write Christmas Carol he based Scrooge’s office not on premises in London where the novel is set, but on Mr Smithson’s office in Malton.
And when Scrooge awakens on Christmas morning to the sound of church bells” Clash, clang, hammer, ding, dong, bell. Bell,dong,ding,hammer,clang,clash! Oh glorious, glorious!”
It is the bells of this church in Malton that Dickens is describing.
The local Dickens Society has since acquired Scrooge’s office.. details here
If you have not read The Christmas Carol then I do recommend it. One of Dicken’s more readable books – I speak as one who has read both The Old Curiosity Shop and Little Dorrit, which are not for the faint hearted, being very long and heavy going. Dickens was most interested in the themes of the spirit and emotions of Christmas and visited them many times in his Christmas stories. The prime themes being the need to celebrate festivities with friends and families and to be happy, but also the need to come to terms with grief which if not dealt with properly can depress one at Christmas, as was the case of Scrooge.
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