To Begin With The story behind the the writing of one of the most influential stories ever written. The desperation, the romance, the triumph, and the tragedy of Charles Dickens' A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Finding himself poised to drag his family into financial ruin - despite his skyrocketing fame - Dickens is bereft, ashamed, exhausted. His marriage is beginning to buckle, and his own demons are creeping ever and ever closer - until a spark of an idea ignites, takes hold, and blazes into being.