Historical Context in A Christmas Carol
Victorian Christmas Traditions: Many of the popular practices surrounding modern Christmas celebrations were conceptualized or popularized in the English Victorian era. Queen Victoria, who had married German Prince Albert, adopted several of her husband’s customs, most notably the decorated Christmas tree. Roast turkeys were popularized as a Christmas meal, especially among the upper class. Carols, though not invented by the Victorians, were made a holiday staple by them. Due to the era’s prosperity, it was more accepted—and eventually expected—that workers would take days off for Christmas celebrations. Furthermore, advances in manufacturing allowed for store-bought gifts to be purchased by a wider range of socioeconomic statuses. Though A Christmas Carol is not the origin of these customs, it is credited with helping disseminate them throughout Britain and much of the English-speaking world.
Historical Context Examples in A Christmas Carol:
"And perhaps it was the pleasure the good Spirit had in showing off this power of his, or else it was his own kind, generous, hearty nature, and his sympathy with all poor men, that led him straight to Scrooge's clerk's; for there he went, and took Scrooge with him, holding to his robe; and on the threshold of the door the Spirit smiled, and stopped to bless Bob Cratchit's dwelling with the sprinkling of his torch..." See in text (Stave Three)