In his introduction to The Man Who Invented Christmas: How Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol Rescued His Career and Revived Our Holiday Spirits, Les Standiford notes:
Dickens's contemporary, William Makepeace Thackeray, as scathing a critic as ever walked the streets of London, once said of [A Christmas Carol], "Who can listen to objections regarding such a book as this? It seems to me a national benefit, and to every man or woman who reads it, a personal kindness."
Standiford's book is full of interesting tidbits like this. I'm a quarter of the way into it now and finding it to be a fascinating bit of literary scholarship. I will no doubt write more about it here when I've reached the end.