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Old 18-12-2014, 08:10 PM   #710
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Lightbulb Ghost of Mar-Ley

A Christmas Carol is a novella by Charles Dickens.. It was first published in London by Chapman & Hall on 19 December 1843.. The novella met with instant success and critical acclaim.. Carol tells the story of a bitter old miser named Ebenezer Scrooge and his transformation into a gentler, kindlier man after visitations by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Yet to Come..Dickens was keenly touched by the lot of poor children in the middle decades of the 19th century.. In early 1843, he toured the Cornish tin mines, where he saw children working in appalling conditions.. The suffering he witnessed there was reinforced by a visit to the Field Lane Ragged School, one of several London schools set up for the education of the capital's half-starved, illiterate street children..In a fundraising speech on 5 October 1843, at the Manchester Athenæum, Dickens urged workers and employers to join together to combat ignorance with educational reform, and realised in the days following that the most effective way to reach the broadest segment of the population with his social concerns about poverty and injustice was to write a deeply felt Christmas narrative rather than polemical pamphlets and essays.. It was during his 3 days in Manchester that he conceived the plot of A Christmas Carol...

The tale begins on a "cold, bleak, biting" Christmas Eve exactly se7en years after the death of Scrooge's business partner Jacob Marley.. Scrooge, an old miser, is established within the first stave as "a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner!" He hates Christmas, calling it "humbug"; he refuses his nephew Fred's Christmas dinner invitation, and rudely turns away 2 gentlemen who seek a donation from him to provide a Christmas dinner for the poor.. His only "Christmas gift" is allowing his overworked, underpaid clerk Bob Cratchit Christmas Day off with pay – which he does only to keep with social custom, Scrooge considering it "a poor excuse for picking a man's pocket every 25th of December!"..Marley tells Scrooge that he will be visited by 3 spirits that night, and that he must listen to them or be cursed to carry chains of his own that are much longer than Marley's chains.. As Marley departs, Scrooge witnesses other restless spirits who now wish they could help their fellow man, but are powerless to do so. Scrooge is then visited by the three spirits Marley spoke of – each visit detailed in a separate stave – who accompany him on visits to various Christmas scenes..Before disappearing, the spirit shows Scrooge 2 hideous, emaciated children named Ignorance and Want..Following publication, Dickens arranged for the manuscript to be bound in red Morocco leather and presented as a gift to his solicitor, Thomas Mitton.. In 1875, Mitton sold the manuscript to bookseller Francis Harvey reportedly for £50 (equal to £4,100 today), who sold it to autograph collector, Henry George Churchill, in 1882, who, in turn, sold the manuscript to Bennett, a Birmingham bookseller.. Bennett sold it for £200 to Robson and Kerslake of London, which sold it to Dickens collector Stuart M. Samuel for £300.. Finally, it was purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan for an undisclosed sum.. It is now held by the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York.. 4 expensive, hand-coloured etchings and 4 black and white wood engravings by John Leech accompanied the text..! You do not know the weight and length of strong chain you bear yourself!. It was as full and as long as this se7en Christmas eves ago and you have laboured on it since.. Ah, it is a ponderous chain!.You don't beliebe in letting the grass grow under your feet, do you?..

Last edited by lightgiver; 18-12-2014 at 08:13 PM.
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