Compelled by personal financial difficulties, Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol in only six weeks, during a period of intense creativity in fall 1843. The original manuscript reveals Dickens's method of composition, allowing us to see the author at work. Deleted text is struck out with a cursive and continuous looping movement of the pen and replaced with more active verbs—to achieve greater vividness or or immediacy of effect—and fewer words for concision. This heavily revised sixty-six-page draft—the only manuscript of the story—was sent to the printer in order for the book to be published on 19 December, just in time for the Christmas market. When the manuscript was returned to Dickens, by the printer, he had it bound in crimson morocco. It was purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan before 1900.
This beautifully bound volume contains the facsimile of Dickens’s manuscript of A Christmas Carol, published in full-color in its entirety, for the first time. Alongside each reproduced manuscript page written by Dickens is an authoritative typed transcription.
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Hidden Likeness: Photographer Emmet Gowin at the Morgan