“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’s name was good upon ’change, for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a doornail.”
Love those first lines in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Dead as a doornail really sticks out in my mind. Dickens sure had a way with words! And believe it or not, Charles Dickens wrote the classic Christmas tale as a novella—something I never knew. In fact, I decided to read A Christmas Carol for the first time a few years ago. I knew the story like the back of my hand, and most movies based on the book were true to form. But there’s nothing like reading the actual script written by an author’s hand. Though the language was a little archaic, it still didn’t take away from the magic of the story.
For many historians, the success of A Christmas Carol directly redefined the modern Western conception of Christmas and its sentiments, in effect creating the modern version of the holiday itself. Charles Dickens wrote four more novellas with a Christmas theme after the great success of A Christmas Carol, which was published in 1843: The Chimes, The Cricket on the Hearth, The Battle of Life, and The Haunted Man. Hey, when you’re on a roll, you don’t want to disappoint your readers!
Since it’s less than a week before Christmas, I thought I’d share the movie trailer of my favorite version of A Christmas Carol starring British actor Alastair Sim made in 1951. Love Mr. Sim’s take on Ebenezer Scrooge, he’s truly an original!
Wishing you and your families a very safe and happy holiday season, and a prosperous 2017! I thought I’d leave you with Charles Dickens’s preface to A Christmas Carol:
“I have endeavoured in this ghostly little book, to raise the ghost of an idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it.”
Their faithful friend and servant,