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A Christmas Carol (Dover Thrift Editions) Paperback – Unabridged, June 1, 1991


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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Thrift Editions
  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; Unabridged edition (June 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486268659
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486268651
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.2 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,351 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From 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.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From 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 © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

One of the grand masters of Victorian literature, Charles Dickens was born on February 7, 1812, in Landport, Portsea, England. He died in Kent on June 9, 1870. The second of eight children of a family continually plagued by debt, the young Dickens came to know not only hunger and privation,but also the horror of the infamous debtors' prison and the evils of child labor. A turn of fortune in the shape of a legacy brought release from the nightmare of prison and "slave" factories and afforded Dickens the opportunity of two years' formal schooling at Wellington House Academy. He worked as an attorney's clerk and newspaper reporter until his Sketches by Boz (1836) and The Pickwick Papers (1837) brought him the amazing and instant success that was to be his for the remainder of his life. In later years, the pressure of serial writing, editorial duties, lectures, and social commitments led to his separation from Catherine Hogarth after twenty-three years of marriage. It also hastened his death at the age of fifty-eight, when he was characteristically engaged in a multitude of work.

Customer Reviews

This book is required reading for everyone who loves Christmas and literature.
Amazon Customer
It has some nice glossy prints including one of the cover of the original edition.
Eric C. Sedensky
For true fans of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens this book is a must read.
T. Ball

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

85 of 87 people found the following review helpful By Herbert T. Moskovitz on November 11, 2003
Format: Hardcover
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.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Luan Gaines HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 31, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol is as much a part of this holiday season as "It's a Wonderful Life" and this reissue of the 1976 edition, the perfect gift for traditionalists who love booklore, literary trivia and anecdotes. The Annotated Christmas Carol is that wonderful blend of hope, poverty, ghosts and folklore that illustrates the theme of greed vs. generosity in the Victorian era.
Who can fail to appreciate the qualities of this reissue, the stories behind the story, the people and places that so captured our imaginations? The Oxford University Press published the letters of Charles Dickens since the 1976 version, opening up a wealth of new material for Hearn to glean more details, including behind-the-scenes machinations of the original publication.
The archaic language is explained, as well as its origins. Hearn's meticulous research has unearthed the complexity of the tale: Dickens' autobiographical details, as well as an historical perspective, the where and how of the first printing and Dickens' oration that so enchanted his audiences.
Hearn has put together a small masterpiece of a treasured Christmas story, expanded, with beautiful reproductions of the original artwork. The art is outstanding; there are the photographs, lithographs and engravings sprinkled throughout the pages, lending that authentic Victorian flavor of Dickens' tale of the plight of the poor in an indifferent society. In addition, there are gorgeous four-color illustrations from the original printing. All in all, this is a book to be treasured by the family and shared in the true spirit of the season. Luan Gaines/2003.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Ken Roberts VINE VOICE on December 17, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Simply amazing! That is the best description I can give of this version of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol."
How many times have you ever read this wonderful novel, but overlooked many parts because it may have seemed long-winded, or maybe you just didn't quite understand the Victorian language that Dickens used (and why wouldn't he?)? Being a student of Dickensian England, this book thoroughly explains every minute detail of the time period in which this story takes place (1843) through the story itself. So much so that, in fact, that after completing this encyclopedia (for it truly is an encyclopedia), I felt as if I understood completely what the readers of the time of Dickens must have felt after reading the first edition 160 years ago. Words, sentences, phrases - all explained desciptively so as one now knows what Dickens actually meant when writing them. It opened my eyes much wider to the WHOLE story, not just the fluff we've all come to know. And, as mentioned in other reviews, you get the complete original novel as well as the 'reading to the public' version, along with a very informative introduction.
I have reviewed several different "Christmas Carol" books - all of which are excellent in their own right. But this version, however simply put, takes the cake!
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 15, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This handsome volume has everything: both the original text and Dicken's very different "reading" version; fascinating introductions to both texts; hundreds of illustrations and photographs, superb annotations throughout; and a generous and heartwarming editorial spirit in keeping with the story itself. You may think you "know" A CHRISTMAS CAROL from the many movie, television or theatrical versions; or, once-upon-a-time, you may have read it. But until you read this version, you won't really "know" A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Michael Patrick Hearn's love of this wonderful old story shows in the care and detail he has lavished upon this edition, in the documentation he has provided and in the absorbing notes which enrich the story and our understanding of it. This book is required reading for everyone who loves Christmas and literature.
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