The Annotated Christmas Carol: A Christmas Carol in Prose

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Overview

Without question, The Annotated Christmas Carol is the most authoritative and entertaining edition of Dickens classic ever produced.
What would Christmas be without A Christmas Carol? Charles Dickens’s famous ghost story is as much a part of the season as plum pudding and mistletoe, and Michael Patrick Hearn, the celebrated annotator of The Wizard of Oz and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, has prepared this sumptuous, thoroughly annotated edition, which has already become the...

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Overview

Without question, The Annotated Christmas Carol is the most authoritative and entertaining edition of Dickens classic ever produced.
What would Christmas be without A Christmas Carol? Charles Dickens’s famous ghost story is as much a part of the season as plum pudding and mistletoe, and Michael Patrick Hearn, the celebrated annotator of The Wizard of Oz and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, has prepared this sumptuous, thoroughly annotated edition, which has already become the definitive edition of our century. Initially published by Norton in 2004, this is the first edition to combine the original story with Dickens’s Public Reading text, published to coincide with his 1867-68 American tour, which has not been reprinted in nearly a century. Included are rare photographs as well as the original Leech wood engravings and hand-colored etchings, supplemented by other contemporary illustrations by George Cruikshank, Gustave Doré, John Tenniel, and “Phiz.” The Annotated Christmas Carol will be a literary feast for the whole family for generations.

A reprinting of the 1843 first edition, complete with the original illustrations, is supplemented by over eighty related sketches and annotations on and analyses of the text and historical notes on the writing of "The Christmas Carol."

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

When Dickens' A Christmas Carol rolls out, you know that the holidays are in the air; and there is no better to acquaint or, more likely, reacquaint yourself with this classic than Michael Patrick Hearn's meticulously annotated edition. This version does what no earlier one had: It combines the original 1843 novel that most of us first came to love with the text that Dickens prepared for his 1867-1868 public reading in America. Our peerless editor didn't stop there: He lavishly sprinkled the text with not only the original Leech wood engravings; but also generous batches of other contemporary illustrations and rare photographs. For anyone who hearkens to the Ghosts of Christmas Past, this gift book will renew your commitment.

William Cullen Bryant
“Such a delightful work... overflowing with good nature and good will towards the humblest and most friendless of our race.”
William Makepeace Thackeray
“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.”
Thomas Carlyle
“Read with satisfaction; presented with satisfaction, and many Christmas wishes.”
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
“I like and admire... the exquisite scenes about the clerk and Tiny [Tim]; I thank the writer in my heart of hearts for them.”
G.K. Chesteron
“The story sings from end to end like a happy man going home.... It is lyric and exclamatory, from the first exclamatory words of it. It is strictly a Christmas Carol.”
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. (Nov. 24) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393051582
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/19/2003
  • Series: The Annotated Bks.
  • Edition description: ANN
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 276,687
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 10.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens (1812-1870) is one of the most acclaimed and popular writers of all time. His many works include the classics The Old Curiosity Shop, Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby, Barnaby Rudge, A Christmas Carol, A Tale of Two Cities, David Copperfield, Great Expectations, Bleak House, Hard Times, Our Mutual Friend, The Pickwick Papers and many more.

John Leech (1817-1864) was a well regarded English caricaturist, whose works often appeared in Punch and the London News. An accomplished lithographer and engraver, Leech's illustrations illuminated the original edition of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol.

Michael Patrick Hearn has written for the New York Times, The Nation, and many other publications. His books include From the Silver Age to Stalin: Russian Children's Book Illustration and The Porcelain Cat; he has edited The Victorian Fairy Tale Book, The Annotated Wizard of Oz, The Annotated Christmas Carol, and The Annotated Huckleberry Finn. Hearn lives in New York City.

Biography

Born on February 7, 1812, Charles Dickens was the second of eight children in a family burdened with financial troubles. Despite difficult early years, he became the most successful British writer of the Victorian age.

In 1824, young Charles was withdrawn from school and forced to work at a boot-blacking factory when his improvident father, accompanied by his mother and siblings, was sentenced to three months in a debtor's prison. Once they were released, Charles attended a private school for three years. The young man then became a solicitor's clerk, mastered shorthand, and before long was employed as a Parliamentary reporter. When he was in his early twenties, Dickens began to publish stories and sketches of London life in a variety of periodicals.

It was the publication of Pickwick Papers (1836-1837) that catapulted the twenty-five-year-old author to national renown. Dickens wrote with unequaled speed and often worked on several novels at a time, publishing them first in monthly installments and then as books. His early novels Oliver Twist (1837-1838), Nicholas Nickleby (1838-1839), The Old Curiosity Shop (1840-1841), and A Christmas Carol (1843) solidified his enormous, ongoing popularity. As Dickens matured, his social criticism became increasingly biting, his humor dark, and his view of poverty darker still. David Copperfield (1849-1850), Bleak House (1852-1853), Hard Times (1854), A Tale of Two Cities (1859), Great Expectations (1860-1861), and Our Mutual Friend (1864-1865) are the great works of his masterful and prolific period.

In 1858 Dickens's twenty-three-year marriage to Catherine Hogarth dissolved when he fell in love with Ellen Ternan, a young actress. The last years of his life were filled with intense activity: writing, managing amateur theatricals, and undertaking several reading tours that reinforced the public's favorable view of his work but took an enormous toll on his health. Working feverishly to the last, Dickens collapsed and died on June 8, 1870, leaving The Mystery of Edwin Drood uncompleted.

Author biography from the Barnes & Noble Classics edition of David Copperfield.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Charles John Huffam Dickens (full name) "Boz" (pen name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 7, 1812
    2. Place of Birth:
      Portsmouth, England
    1. Date of Death:
      June 18, 1870
    2. Place of Death:
      Gad's Hill, Kent, England

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction to The Annotated Christmas Carol
A Christmas Carol in Prose (1843) 3
Preface 5
Stave 1 Marley's Ghost 7
Stave 2 The First of the Three Spirits 49
Stave 3 The Second of the Three Spirits 79
Stave 4 The Last of the Spirits 126
Stave 5 The End of It 149
Appendix 163
Introduction to A Christmas Carol. In Four Staves 163
A Christmas Carol. In Four Staves, (1867) 213
Stave 1 Marley's Ghost 213
Stave 2 The First of the Three Spirits 226
Stave 3 The Second of the Three Spirits 233
Stave 4 The Last of the Spirits 245
Bibliography 257
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2003

    A Christmas Carol for Many Christmases Yet to Come

    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. The annotations for this section are mostly concerned with the prompt copy and audience members' remembrances of how Dickens performed the reading. Hearn was able to visit the British Library where he consulted the unpublished manuscripts of the 1844 staged versions of A Christmas Carol. They were full of all sorts of tidbits of information that he passes on to us. The new edition also has many more illustrations and photographs, including a stereoscopic picture of Dickens that I never knew existed, that make this volume one to treasure for many Christmases yet to come.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2003

    Actually, It's Quite Different Than the Previous Versions

    This book is more of an expanded version of the previous volumes. It has many new illustrations and additional commentary. The design and production are far superior to the earlier books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2003

    This is by no means a new book...

    This is just a reprint with extras of a book Hearn published in 1976 and again in the '80s. So he is by no means a new author. Yes it is bigger and lavish and more expensive even with the passing of time. But as a true 'A Christmas Carol' lover how can you pass it up?

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    Posted December 11, 2008

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    Posted November 15, 2008

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