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A Christmas Carol [Leather Bound]

Charles Dickens
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)

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Product Description

From Amazon

In the history of English literature, Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, which has been continuously in print since it was first published in the winter of 1843, stands out as the quintessential Christmas story. What makes this charming edition of Dickens's immortal tale so special is the collection of 80 vivid illustrations by Everett Shinn (1876-1953). Shinn, a well-known artist in his time, was a popular illustrator of newspapers and magazines whose work displayed a remarkable affinity for the stories of Charles Dickens, evoking the bustling street life of the mid-1800s. Printed on heavy, cream-colored paper stock, the edges of the pages have been left rough, simulating the way in which the story might have appeared in Dickens's own time. Though countless editions of this classic have been published over the years, this one stands out as particularly beautiful, nostalgic, and evocative of the spirit of Christmas. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Dickens's classic holiday tale, like many cultural touchstones, often falls into the trap of perennial reinterpretation. First aired in 1990 but only now available on CD, NPR's presentation serves to place the familiar story back in its historical context. NPR News anchor Susan Stamberg's introduction, along with background information in the liner notes, offers valuable insights regarding both Dickens's gritty backdrop and his role in reviving Christmas traditions otherwise forgotten amid rapid urban industrialization. The script being performed is the same one Dickens used to use at readings. Comedy legend Winters, who serves as narrator while also performing all of the male roles, juggles his duties seamlessly and demonstrates remarkable dramatic range. His portrayal of Scrooge before the ghostly visitations evokes discernable pain and loss beyond the over-the-top antics of an ogre figure. Veteran actress Mimi Kennedy voices the female parts with gusto. With its quality production, attractive price and one-hour length, this release offers the perfect gift and establishes a festive new annual ritual for families to share. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From School Library Journal

Grade 5 Up–Over the years, Dickens's holiday classic has been embellished by some of the finest artists around. Michael Foreman, Trina Schart Hyman, Greg Hildebrandt, and Lisbeth Zwerger are just a few of the luminaries who have taken on the challenge originally set by Arthur Rackham in 1915. Joining the list is Lynch, whose watercolor-and-gouache illustrations lavishly enhance this handsome edition, which includes the complete text. Ranging from spot art to full spreads, with something to savor on almost every page, they offer a real flavor of Victorian England and make the most of the inherent drama of the story. The gold-embossed spine and thick, textured paper contribute to the appeal of the package.–Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

This duo offer two versions of the holiday standard, with the Stewart, Tabori & Chang edition including the original full text (old spellings, etc.) plus more than 75 illustrations?24 in color. The DK version is part of the publisher's new "Eyewitness Classics" collection (Classic Returns, LJ 9/15/97) and features a heavily abridged text and numerous photographs explaining items mentioned in the story (workhouses, nightcaps, etc.) and would serve as an ideal introduction for young readers.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Ages 5^-8. Kennedy remains true to Dickens' tone and style in her picture-book-length adaptation of this holiday classic. By eliminating much of the original's redundancy and simplifying some of its arcane Victorian phrasing, the author has condensed this tale of a miser's discovery of the true meaning of Christmas into an easily understood 20-minute family read-aloud. Heyer's vibrant acrylic paintings add elegance to the presentation, and the use of a vertical red bar (suggesting period wallpaper or a fancy ribbon) on each page sets off the text and leaves the impression that this offering is a carefully wrapped package. For purists Roberto Innocenti's illustrated Christmas Carol (1990) may be the edition of choice, but libraries with requests for shorter versions (that do not rely on animals or cartoon characters to relay the story) will find this a good alternative. Kay Weisman --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"This volume is a distinguished addition to a superb series. Richard Kelly's fine edition of Dickens's 'timeless classic' richly documents just how very timely this little book was, being the inspired and inspiring result of Dickens's passionately humanitarian response to the harshness and brutality with which the poor, especially children of the poor, were treated in the England of 1843. In his substantial introduction, supplemented by a well-chosen selection of contemporary writings, Professor Kelly also demonstrates another notable aspect of the work's timeliness by situating it in the context of the great revival of traditional Christmas festivities going on during the first half of the nineteenth century." - Michael Slater, Birkbeck College, University of London --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

"Bah!" said Scrooge."Humbug!" With those famous words unfolds a tale that renews the joy and caring that are Christmas. Whether we read it aloud with our family and friends or open the pages on a chill winter evening to savor the story in solitiude. Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol is a very special holiday experience. It is the one book that every year will warm hour hearts with favorite memories of Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim, Bob Cratchit, and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future -- and will remind us with laughter and tears how the true Christmas spirit comes from giving with love. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

Emerging from Dickens's preoccupation in the early 1840s with issues of poverty, ignorance, and cruelty, this classic story of Ebeneezer Scrooge, visited by four ghosts on Christmas Eve, was first published in 1843 to strong reviews and popular success. The Broadview edition uses the first edition with original drawings by John Leech. This edition also includes Washington Irving's descriptions of English Christmas customs; essays by Dickens on Christmas, and his essay "A Walk in a Workhouse"; a British government report on the lives of child labourers; a speech by Dickens on the importance of educating the poor; selected letters; contemporary reviews; and a listing of film, television, and radio adaptations of the book. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Charles Dickens (1812-70) was a political reporter, journalist & novelist. His novels include Great Expectations, David Copperfield & Bleak House. Michael Slater is Emeritus Professor at Birkbeck College, London & a past President of the Dickens Fellowship & the Dickens Society of America. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

A Christmas Carol
STAVE ONE
MARLEY'S GHOST
MARLEY WAS DEAD, to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it. And Scrooge's name was good upon 'Change for anything he chose to put his hand to.
Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail.
Mind! I don't mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a door-nail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of iron-mongery in the trade. But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile; and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it, or the Country's done for. You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically,that Marley was as dead as a door-nail.
Scrooge knew he was dead? Of course he did. How could it be otherwise? Scrooge and he were partners for I don't know how many years. Scrooge was his sole executor, his sole administrator, his sole assign, his sole residuary legatee, his sole friend, and sole mourner. And even Scrooge was not so dreadfully cut up by the sad event, but that he was an excellent man of business on the very day of the funeral, and solemnized it with an undoubted bargain.
The mention of Marley's funeral brings me back to the point I started from. There is no doubt that Marley was dead. This must be distinctly understood, or nothing wonderful can come of the story I am going to relate. If we were not perfectly convinced that Hamlet's father died before the play began, there would be nothing more remarkable in his taking a stroll at night, in an easterly wind, upon his own ramparts, than there would be in any other middle-aged gentleman rashly turning out after dark in a breezy spot--say Saint Paul's Churchyard for instance--literally to astonish his son's weak mind.
Scrooge never painted out old Marley's name. There it stood, years afterward, above the warehouse door: Scrooge and Marley. The firm was known as Scrooge and Marley. Sometimes people new to the business called Scrooge Scrooge, and sometimes Marley, but he answered to both names. It was all the same to him.
Oh! but he was a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone,Scrooge! a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire, secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster. The cold within him froze his old features, nipped his pointed nose, shriveled his cheek, stiffened his gait, made his eyes red, his thin lips blue, and spoke out shrewdly in his grating voice. A frosty rime was on his head, and on his eyebrows, and his wiry chin. He carried his own low temperature always about with him; he iced his office in the dog-days; and didn't thaw it one degree at Christmas.
External heat and cold had little influence on Scrooge. No warmth could warm, no wintry weather chill him. No wind that blew was bitterer than he, no falling snow was more intent upon its purpose, no pelting rain less open to entreaty. Foul weather didn't know where to have him. The heaviest rain, and snow, and hail, and sleet, could boast of the advantage over him in only one respect. They often "came down" handsomely, and Scrooge never did.
Nobody ever stopped him in the street to say, with gladsome looks, "My dear Scrooge, how are you? When will you come to see me?" No beggars implored him to bestow a trifle, no children asked him what it was o'clock, no man or woman ever once in all his life inquired the way to such and such a place, of Scrooge. Even the blind men's dogs appeared to know him; and, when they saw him coming on, would tug their owners into doorways and up courts; and then would wag their tailsas though they said, "No eye at all is better than an evil eye, dark master!"
But what did Scrooge care? It was the very thing he liked. To edge his way along the crowded paths of life, warning all human sympathy to keep its distance, was what the knowing ones call "nuts" to Scrooge.
Once upon a time--of all the good days in the year, on Christmas Eve--old Scrooge sat busy in his counting-house. It was cold, bleak, biting weather, foggy withal, and he could hear the people in the court outside go wheezing up and down, beating their hands upon their breasts, and stamping their feet upon the pavement stones to warm them. The city clocks had only just gone three, but it was quite dark already--it had not been light all day--and candles were flaring in the windows of the neighboring offices, like ruddy smears upon the palpable brown air. The fog came pouring in at every chink and keyhole, and was so dense without, that, although the court was of the narrowest, the houses opposite were mere phantoms. To see the dingy cloud come drooping down, obscuring everything, one might have thought that Nature lived hard by, and was brewing on a large scale.
The door of Scrooge's counting-house was open, that he might keep his eye upon his clerk, who, in a dismal little cell beyond, a sort of tank, was copying letters. Scrooge had a very small fire, but the clerk's fire was so very much smaller that it looked like one coal. But he couldn't replenish it, for Scrooge kept the coal-box in his own room;and so surely as the clerk came in with the shovel, the master predicted that it would be necessary for them to part. Wherefore the clerk put on his white comforter, and tried to warm himself at the candle; in which effort, not being a man of a strong imagination, he failed.
"A merry Christmas, uncle! God save you!" cried a cheerful voice. It was the voice of Scrooge's nephew, who came upon him so quickly that this was the first intimation he had of his approach.
"Bah!" said Scrooge. "Humbug!"
He had so heated himself with rapid walking in the fog and frost, this nephew of Scrooge's, that he was all in a glow; his face was ruddy and handsome; his eyes sparkled, and his breath smoked again.
"Christmas a humbug, uncle!" said Scrooge's nephew. "You don't mean that, I am sure?"
"I do," said Scrooge. "Merry Christmas! What right have you to be merry? What reason have you to be merry? You're poor enough."
"Come, then," returned the nephew gaily. "What right have you to be dismal? What reason have you to be morose? You're rich enough."
Scrooge, having no better answer ready on the spur of the moment, said "Bah!" again; and followed it up with "Humbug!"
"Don't be cross, uncle!" said the nephew.
"What else can I be," returned the uncle, "when I live in such a world of fools as this? Merry Christmas! Out upon merry Christmas! What's Christmas-time to you but a time for paying bills without money; a time for finding yourself a yearolder, and not an hour richer; a time for balancing your books, and having every item in 'em through a round dozen of months presented dead against you? If I could work my will," said Scrooge indignantly, "every idiot who goes about with 'Merry Christmas' on his lips should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. He should!"
"Uncle!" pleaded the nephew.
"Nephew!" returned the uncle sternly, "keep Christmas in your own way, and let me keep it in mine."
"Keep it!" repeated Scrooge's nephew. "But you don't keep it."
"Let me leave it alone, then," said Scrooge. "Much good may it do you! Much good it has ever done you!"
"There are many things from which I might have derived good by which I have not profited, I dare say," returned the nephew, "Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas-time, when it has come round--apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that--as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, Ibelieve that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!"
The clerk in the tank involuntarily applauded. Becoming immediately sensible of the impropriety, he poked the fire, and extinguished the last frail spark forever.
"Let me hear another sound from you," said Scrooge, "and you'll keep your Christmas by losing your situation! You're quite a powerful speaker, sir," he added, turning to his nephew. "I wonder you don't go into Parliament."
"Don't be angry, uncle. Come! Dine with us to-morrow."
Scrooge said that he would see him----Yes, indeed, he did. He went the whole length of the expression, and said that he would see him in that extremity first.
"But why?" cried Scrooge's nephew. "Why?"
"Why did you get married?" said Scrooge.
"Because I fell in love."
"Because you fell in love!" growled Scrooge, as if that were the only one thing in the world more ridiculous than a merry Christmas. "Good afternoon!"
"Nay, uncle, but you never came to see me before that happened. Why give it as a reason for not coming now?"
"Good afternoon," said Scrooge.
"I want nothing from you; I ask nothing of you; why cannot we be friends?"
"Good afternoon!" said Scrooge.
"I am sorry, with all my heart, to find you so resolute. We have never had any quarrel, to whichI have been a party. But I have made the trial in homage to Christmas, and I'll keep my Christmas humor to the last. So a merry Christmas, uncle!"
"Good afternoon," said Scrooge.
"And a happy New Year!"
"Good afternoon!" said Scrooge.
His nephew left the room without an angry word, ...
--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

From AudioFile

Put Hagrid, Dumbledore, and Moody out of your mind and revel in the story of Scrooge, some choice spirits, and the lushness of Dickensian prose, winningly articulated by Harry Potter narrator Jim Dale, who rescues A CHRISTMAS CAROL from the cloying sweetness of many cinematic interpretations. Fezziwig, Bob Cratchit, Jacob Marley, the spirits, and even Tiny Tim are accorded their unique characterizations. The versatile British actor's performance of Scrooge as he discovers that his body is left abandoned on a denuded bedstead is as raw and real as when the classic tale was written in the closing weeks of 1843. Dale makes us believe in the Scrooge whose spark has been quenched and carries us along as we watch the various spirits blow the ashes into embers, and the embers into a merry blaze of timeless Christmas cheer. E.E.E. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award, 2004 YALSA Selection © AudioFile 2004, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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