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A Christmas Carol [Paperback]

Charles Dickens
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 1 1991 Dover Thrift Editions
In October 1843, Charles Dickens ― heavily in debt and obligated to his publisher ― began work on a book to help supplement his family's meager income. That volume, A Christmas Carol, has long since become one of the most beloved stories in the English language. As much a part of the holiday season as holly, mistletoe, and evergreen wreaths, this perennial favorite continues to delight new readers and rekindle thoughts of charity and goodwill.
With its characters exhibiting many qualities ― as well as failures ― often ascribed to Dickens himself, the imaginative and entertaining tale relates Ebenezer Scrooge's eerie encounters with a series of spectral visitors. Journeying with them through Christmases past, present, and future, he is ultimately transformed from an arrogant, obstinate, and insensitive miser to a generous, warmhearted, and caring human being. Written by one of England's greatest and most popular novelists, A Christmas Carol has come to epitomize the true meaning of Christmas.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

For many people in the 21st century, Dickens's A Christmas Carol has come to define what "keeping Christmas" should look like. And according to Michael Patrick Hearn's superb introduction to this annotated edition of Dickens's beloved classic, that was precisely the author's intention. Dickens feared that encroaching industrialism undermined the traditional values of family, faith and simplicity, and that killjoy Puritans had done away with many of the pleasures of Christmas, so he set out to revive old-fashioned English customs. Hearn's introduction grandly describes the story's enduring popularity around the world (including Dickens's irate but mostly ineffectual attempts to stem the tide of its plagiarism). The annotated edition is enriched by numerous wood etchings, including some from the original 1843 art by Punch cartoonist John Leech. Old Scrooge himself would approve.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School-Beginning with an introduction that covers the history of the classic tale, Hearn includes a wealth of information on the background of the story as well as a short biography of Dickens. The editor inserts quote after quote from contemporary reviewers, authors, friends, newspapers, and other sources that feature a perspective on the tale. The result is a large, long introduction filled with thoroughly researched information made readily available. The tale itself follows, filled with footnotes and supplementary facts. The addition of many photographs, some of them rare, helps present a realistic view of the writer's world. Wood engravings and hand-colored etchings by the original illustrator, Leech, provide interest and a note of authenticity. Supplemental illustrations by George Cruikshank, Gustave Dore, John Tenniel, and "Phiz" (Halbot Knight Browne) supply glimpses of the other tales and times of Dickens, while some feature more artwork they had done depicting scenes from A Christmas Carol. A reprint of the 1843 text used by Dickens when he read the tale aloud publicly is appended.
Pam Johnson, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a classic for a reason! Feb. 3 2010
By J. Scully TOP 1000 REVIEWER
I'm almost ashamed to admit that I've never read this classic before! After being fairly disappointed by the new Disney 3D movie version of A Christmas Carol, I decided it was time to read the book so at least I'd know the real story. I wasn't sure what to expect because I often have a hard time getting through the classics, but absolutely I adored it!

Charles Dickens is a true wordsmith; his writing flows in such a way that makes it almost lyrical. I won't go into the story, because I can't imagine there's a person out there who hasn't heard, read or seen it some form or other, but I will say that I regret not reading this wonderful tale earlier, and am eager to read more stories by the fantastic Charles Dickens!

I'll leave you with a quote from the end of the novel that's had me smiling all day: "His own heart laughed: and that was quite enough for him."
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4.0 out of 5 stars A new take on an old tale Dec 31 2003
Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol is as much a part of this holiday season as "It's a Wonderful Life" and this reissue of the 1976 edition, the perfect gift for traditionalists who love booklore, literary trivia and anecdotes. The Annotated Christmas Carol is that wonderful blend of hope, poverty, ghosts and folklore that illustrates the theme of greed vs. generosity in the Victorian era.
Who can fail to appreciate the qualities of this reissue, the stories behind the story, the people and places that so captured our imaginations? The Oxford University Press published the letters of Charles Dickens since the 1976 version, opening up a wealth of new material for Hearn to glean more details, including behind-the-scenes machinations of the original publication.
The archaic language is explained, as well as its origins. Hearn's meticulous research has unearthed the complexity of the tale: Dickens' autobiographical details, as well as an historical perspective, the where and how of the first printing and Dickens' oration that so enchanted his audiences.
Hearn has put together a small masterpiece of a treasured Christmas story, expanded, with beautiful reproductions of the original artwork. The art is outstanding; there are the photographs, lithographs and engravings sprinkled throughout the pages, lending that authentic Victorian flavor of Dickens' tale of the plight of the poor in an indifferent society. In addition, there are gorgeous four-color illustrations from the original printing. All in all, this is a book to be treasured by the family and shared in the true spirit of the season. Luan Gaines/2003.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate "Carol" Dec 17 2003
Simply amazing! That is the best description I can give of this version of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol."
How many times have you ever read this wonderful novel, but overlooked many parts because it may have seemed long-winded, or maybe you just didn't quite understand the Victorian language that Dickens used (and why wouldn't he?)? Being a student of Dickensian England, this book thoroughly explains every minute detail of the time period in which this story takes place (1843) through the story itself. So much so that, in fact, that after completing this encyclopedia (for it truly is an encyclopedia), I felt as if I understood completely what the readers of the time of Dickens must have felt after reading the first edition 160 years ago. Words, sentences, phrases - all explained desciptively so as one now knows what Dickens actually meant when writing them. It opened my eyes much wider to the WHOLE story, not just the fluff we've all come to know. And, as mentioned in other reviews, you get the complete original novel as well as the 'reading to the public' version, along with a very informative introduction.
I have reviewed several different "Christmas Carol" books - all of which are excellent in their own right. But this version, however simply put, takes the cake!
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Michael Patrick Hearn wrote the first Annotated Christmas Carol back in 1976. He is also the author of many other books, including The Annotated Wizard of Oz and The Annotated Huckleberry Finn. Both of those had been published about twenty-five years ago and have recently been revised. Now it is A Christmas Carol's turn for a revised edition.
The first thing I noticed was the wealth of new material. The old introduction was 51 pages long. The new introduction is 100.
Hearn found lots of material in the intervening 27 years that make for a larger book. He benefited tremendously from the publication of the Oxford University Press edition of Dickens's letters. He uncovered many reviews and notices of the book in 1843 and 1844 and has included much of what he found in the introduction. He found information that had been obscured by time. For example, he found that the very first British editions arrived in Boston at 4:15 P.M. on Sunday, January 21st, and were pirated by Harper and Brothers within a few days. The New York True Sun was soon pirating the pirates by serializing the story on the front page of the daily paper by January 29th.
As one would expect, the revised edition has many more annotations accompanying the text, than the original edition. For example, the original book had 80 notes in Stave One whereas the 2003 edition has 110. Some of the new notes alone are worth purchasing the second edition, even if you already own the first. His notes on Joe, the old gray-haired rascal who deals with the laundress and charwoman are an essay unto themselves.
But the most significant addition is the appendix, which consists of the Public Reading version of A Christmas Carol, and an introduction that covers much of Dickens's involvement with the theatre.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Christmas Book Collection
A true classic for Christmas. I always read this book during Christmas over a hot mug of hot cocoa with the lights off and the candles lit ! Read more
Published 3 months ago by Karen Bahal
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming
This is the third copy of this title that I have purchased. I bought this especially for my daughter who enjoyed my copy so much she asked for one herself. Read more
Published 11 months ago by REV JAMES T IRVINE
3.0 out of 5 stars Thought it Would Be Longer
Amazon really needs to show better pictures. I bought this as a gift for Christmas, not knowing that it was only about 5mm thick!
Published 16 months ago by MusicLover1
5.0 out of 5 stars A Christmas Carol, A Dickens Masterpiece
So much of today has come from this story, ideas and thoughts and customs that permeate this season. A book written over 150 years ago still resonates with us. Read more
Published on Sept. 6 2012 by Scoopriches
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for the Price
This was a great book for the price. I purchased it for a family member and they just loved it. You guys should pick up a copy of this classic novel.
Published on April 28 2012 by Afro Otaku
5.0 out of 5 stars My experience
I received this book in about a week, it was in perfect shape as described by the seller. I have bought from this seller before and will continue to do so as the experience has... Read more
Published on Oct. 9 2011 by Sandie Betsalel
4.0 out of 5 stars Bah humbug
"A Christmas Carol" is not just A Christmas story, but one of THE Christmas stories -- not only is it instantly recognizable by pretty much everybody, but it's relentlessly copied... Read more
Published on May 16 2010 by E. A Solinas
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book
This was a short book I decided to pick up because it was nearing christmas time, and I wanted to read a classic christmas novel. Read more
Published on Jan. 26 2009 by Brian Murphy
5.0 out of 5 stars Greed Versus Humanity: An Ancient Story That's Forever Fresh
Dickens, it's said, created the British image of Christmas.

It would be a ridiculous but interesting challenge to name the world's most successful or influential work of... Read more
Published on Dec 4 2008 by Graham Worthington
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, lavish, authoritative and required!
This handsome volume has everything: both the original text and Dicken's very different "reading" version; fascinating introductions to both texts; hundreds of... Read more
Published on Dec 15 2003 by Amazon Customer
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