“Marley was dead: to begin with.”

Despite the improper punctuation and the ending of his first sentence with a preposition, Charles Dickens changed the world with his little book about Christmas in 1843.

Every year, I try to read the book. I love Dickens' introduction:

I have endeavoured in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it.

Their faithful Friend and Servant,
C. D.
December, 1843.

I do have to warn you that the book contains several phrases and references that as a 2013 reader, you may have never heard. The good news is that when you read about "a bad lobster in a dark cellar" or countless other old terms that are new to you, there are several places you can look on-line for explanations.

This may surprise you, but of all of the movies I have seen, the one that most accurately portrays the characters and ghosts is the one featuring Jim Carrey. Animation and Carrey's love of the outrageous helped the producers capture things about the book that many movies missed. One example: The movie shows seeing-eye dogs quickly guiding their blind masters out of Scrooge's path; that was from a line in the first chapter. While critics complained that the movie seemed to focus too much on special effects, those effects described quite accurately the scenes as Dickens wrote them.

But, as always, the book is better than the movie.

Don’t have the book? These days, you don’t need to go look for it. There are many literature web sites that allow you to read it, and at a price Scrooge would love – for free. Click HERE to read it yourself.

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Comments (1)

Christmas Time, my Sophomore year, our family was lacking in money, but it turned out to be one of our most memorable! We made homemade tree decorations and fudge, and Mom read Dickens's CHRISTMAS CAROL aloud to us after our meal, which made us count our many blessings. It was also the year I first met Bob at VHS!
By: Phyllis Simnacher on December 18th 12:28pm

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