What is the setting of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens?

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lynn30k eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol is set in London, England. The exact year is not specified, but it is during the Industrial Revolution, sometime in the early 1800s. London is divided between the very rich, and the very poor; it is difficult for most people to make ends meet, and workhouses and debtor's prisons are where a lot of the poor end up when they cannot pay their bills. The entire story takes place on a cold, foggy, dreary Christmas Eve, from about the time work ends in Scrooge's office, until Christmas morning and afternoon.  The novel begins in Scrooge's office, where he has, against his wishes, given his employee Bob Cratchit the entire day of Christmas off. Dickens then shows Scrooge's house, where he lives as cheaply as possible.There is a lot of flashback and flashforward to scenes of other Christmases in Scrooge's life, as the ghosts take him to different times. We see happier scenes from Scrooge's past in school and in Fezziwig's company, and in the present in Cratchit's home. Dickens also takes us to the sad future of the Cratchits' home, and to Scrooge's grave.