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From Barnes & Noble
Some facts about Charles Dickens (1812-1870) are well-known: His first novel, The Pickwick Papers (1836-1837) won him international fame; he was the most popular author of his time and his works have never been out of print. Few of us, however, know that the author of Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities suffered a near-devastating crisis early in his career. In 1841, a weekly periodical that he edited and wrote alone collapsed just a year after its founding after showcasing two of the Victorian writer's least successful novels. His 1842 travel book American Notes further dampened stateside enthusiasm for his work. As public interest in him flagged, Dickens struggled to find a winning formula. With A Christmas Carol, he not only rescued his career; he added new bells of meaning to a year-end festivity. A new edition of a proven seasonal winner.