A Christmas Carol: And Other Christmas Books

A Christmas Carol: And Other Christmas Books

4.1 519
by Charles Dickens

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A Christmas Carol has gripped the public imagination since it was first published in 1843, and it is now as much a part of the holiday season as is mistletoe or Santa's reindeer. Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim, the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future—it is impossible to go anywhere during the month of December and not hear these names, time and again.…  See more details below


A Christmas Carol has gripped the public imagination since it was first published in 1843, and it is now as much a part of the holiday season as is mistletoe or Santa's reindeer. Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim, the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future—it is impossible to go anywhere during the month of December and not hear these names, time and again.
Now comes a wonderful new collection of Dickens' Christmas stories, graced with many of the original drawings that appeared in the first edition. Pride of place goes to A Christmas Carol, of course, but the book also includes four other marvelous tales: The Chimes, The Cricket on the Hearth, The Battle of Life, and The Haunted Man. All five stories show Dickens at his unpredictable best, jumbling together comedy and melodrama, genial romance and urgent social satire, in pursuit of his aim "to awaken some loving and forbearing thoughts, never out of season in a Christian land." The volume also features an excellent introduction by Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, who offers invaluable background to the Christmas stories, illuminating the social questions they set out to address, outlining their reception and the enduring popularity of A Christmas Carol, and highlighting how their style and themes resonate in more complex ways in his major fictions. In addition, the book includes two appendices containing Dickens's article, "What Christmas Is As We Grow Older," and facsimile pages from Dickens's reading version of A Christmas Carol.
A wonderful gift for the holiday season—featuring colored end papers, delightful contemporary illustrations, and a ribbon marker—this superb volume will delight the heart of readers young and old.

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Product Details

Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
Oxford World's Classics Hardcovers Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
7.80(w) x 5.30(h) x 1.20(d)

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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 ironmongery 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 solemnised 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 afterwards, 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, shrivelled 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, nor 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 'oclock, no man or woman ever once in all his life inquired the way to such and such a place, of Scrooge. Even the blindmen'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 tails as 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 neighbouring 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.

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A Christmas Carol (Prestwick House Literary Touchstone Press Series) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 519 reviews.
eittodcro More than 1 year ago
This classic is well presented in a very readable format. A good choice.
corinne_ewan More than 1 year ago
A wonderful, quick read during the holiday season. It's a great story that I will most likely come back to again. I seen so many adaptations in movies and plays, it was nice to finally read the original story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BEST BOOK EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great christmas read for all ages. Im 16 and i loved it. There are some typos, but nothing that would make it difficult to understand. I definately would reccomened this book to a friend!
missmattie More than 1 year ago
I have always loved this book and began a tradition of reading it to my children when they were young. The writing may not be the peak of Dickens's style but is still excellent. And the story never fails to move and entertain me. This year I read it on my new Nook -- and once again, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I would certainly recommend this book to anyone who likes a good, rousing and touching story and a well-written book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book! It was mysterious and funny! Great for all ages!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The character Ebeneezer Scrooge has to be one of Dicken's famous characters. In his novella, Dickens portrays a man disappointed with himself and who regards the world with contempt. I always thought of the visits by the three spirits as therapy. Modern pyschology hadn't evolved in the 1840s and somehow Scrooge's breakthrough comes through as a recovered patient. I read that Dickens was a contemporary of Karl Marx and as Marx advocated social change to improve the conditions prevalent during that time, Dickens believed that change could come about by social awareness. Laws could be legislated because society felt compassion. The two children Ignorance and Want, who are hidden under the cloak of the Spirit of Christmas Present were not intended only for plot of the story but as a reminder for Dickens' readers. Are not the 21st century readers still having to think of that boy and girl today? The media presents us news of children in refugee camps,starving children, and homeless families. We are confronted with the reality of want during this time of joy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best books ever.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is awesome! When my teacher read it to us for the hoiliday season! It was what I would say fantastic! I looooooovvvvvvvveeeeeeeeddddddd this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its such a good book! What a tridition
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can anyone lend me this book for school? I don't haveh any money to buy it. Thanks!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Classic - Must have!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What is that about?
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Book itself is great, however this ebook copy is terrible and filled with errors, its almost unreadable
matsu More than 1 year ago
This version was crafted with nook's screen in mind.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE IT
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really good book.One of my favorite classics.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago