The Annotated Christmas Carol: A Christmas Carol in Proseby Charles Dickens, John Leech (Illustrator)
Featuring over 100 illustrations by John Leech and other artists, this volume presents the original 1843 text of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, along with extensive annotations. The writing, publication, and reception of the story are discussed in the introduction. Also included is the Public Reading text, originally published to coincide with Dickens' 1867-68 American tour. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
- Random House Value Publishing, Incorporated
- Publication date:
Meet the Author
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.
- Date of Birth:
- February 7, 1812
- Date of Death:
- June 18, 1870
- Place of Birth:
- Portsmouth, England
- Place of Death:
- Gad's Hill, Kent, England
- Home-schooling; attended Dame School at Chatham briefly and Wellington
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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. 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.
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.
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?