The Annotated Christmas Carol: A Christmas Carol in Prose

The Annotated Christmas Carol: A Christmas Carol in Prose


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Without question, The Annotated Christmas Carolis the most authoritative and entertaining edition of Dickens classic ever produced.

What would Christmas be without A Christmas Carol? Charles Dickens’s famous ghost story is as much a part of the season as plum pudding and mistletoe, and Michael Patrick Hearn, the celebrated annotator of The Wizard of Oz and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, has prepared this sumptuous, thoroughly annotated edition, which has already become the definitive edition of our century. Initially published by Norton in 2004, this is the first edition to combine the original story with Dickens’s Public Reading text, published to coincide with his 1867-68 American tour, which has not been reprinted in nearly a century. Included are rare photographs as well as the original Leech wood engravings and hand-colored etchings, supplemented by other contemporary illustrations by George Cruikshank, Gustave Doré, John Tenniel, and “Phiz.” The Annotated Christmas Carol will be a literary feast for the whole family for generations.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393051582
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 10/19/2003
Series: Annotated Books Series
Edition description: ANN
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 741,026
Product dimensions: 8.80(w) x 10.30(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

About the Author

Charles Dickens (1812-1870) is one of the most acclaimed and popular writers of all time. His many works include the classics The Old Curiosity Shop, Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby, Barnaby Rudge, A Christmas Carol, A Tale of Two Cities, David Copperfield, Great Expectations, Bleak House, Hard Times, Our Mutual Friend, The Pickwick Papers and many more.

John Leech (1817-1864) was a well regarded English caricaturist, whose works often appeared in Punch and the London News. An accomplished lithographer and engraver, Leech's illustrations illuminated the original edition of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol.

Michael Patrick Hearn has written for the New York Times, The Nation, and many other publications. His books include From the Silver Age to Stalin: Russian Children's Book Illustration and The Porcelain Cat; he has edited The Victorian Fairy Tale Book, The Annotated Wizard of Oz, The Annotated Christmas Carol, and The Annotated Huckleberry Finn. Hearn lives in New York City.

Date of Birth:

February 7, 1812

Date of Death:

June 18, 1870

Place of Birth:

Portsmouth, England

Place of Death:

Gad's Hill, Kent, England


Home-schooling; attended Dame School at Chatham briefly and Wellington

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Annotated Christmas Carol 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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. The annotations for this section are mostly concerned with the prompt copy and audience members' remembrances of how Dickens performed the reading. Hearn was able to visit the British Library where he consulted the unpublished manuscripts of the 1844 staged versions of A Christmas Carol. They were full of all sorts of tidbits of information that he passes on to us. The new edition also has many more illustrations and photographs, including a stereoscopic picture of Dickens that I never knew existed, that make this volume one to treasure for many Christmases yet to come.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is more of an expanded version of the previous volumes. It has many new illustrations and additional commentary. The design and production are far superior to the earlier books.
nymith on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My version of this timeless classic is Annotated, which I would certainly recommend as the ideal binding. There are a surprising number of "slang" terms of the time, and the footnotes can come in handy, I felt.I won't summarise the story, since everyone ought to know it by now. But even if you know everything, and sneer at Tiny Tim as sentimental and the character transformation of Scrooge as implausible, I really would advise you to read the story before you condemn it. I was quite surprised by its enjoyability.One doesn't think of Dickens and fantasy as going together, does one? But this story proves he had a fine, vivid imagination in that direction, and hence the supernatural is effortlessly crafted. Imagery for Marley and the Three Spirits is sublime, each one seeming to outdo the last.The other key set of descriptions in this story is that of Dickens' London. A superb creation. The imagery of Christmas is beautifully evoked, what with mouth-watering descriptions of a streetmarket and economically elegant passages devoted to bleak coastal celebrations...The prose isn't perfect, of course. Each chapter bulges with at least a few overactive details, and sometimes the wording is garbled and in need of editing. And in terms of plot and character, Dickens' famed sentimentality does intrude from time to time - such as in the character of Belle (the Angel of the House) and during the Fezziwig ball scene.Yet what does it matter? Despite these flaws, A Christmas Carol is marvelous. To begin with Scrooge and see it all happen with him, is in a way, to take part in that redemption as well. I found his transformation entirely plausible, and by the time I reached the final act, I shared his joy entirely. Happiness radiated from the pages, and I finally understood why this is considered such a timeless part of the Christmas tradition.
VirginiaGill on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I actually love Dickens and this story in particular. However, I did not enjoy this edition of the book. Picked it up thinking it would give me lots of interesting info for our book group discussion. Mostly just found it annoying. Skip all the notes, or read them at a separate sitting from the story itself and you will enjoy it far more.
mmyoung on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This review is divided into two sections: the first deals with this reviewer¿s assessment of this volume as an annotation while the second assesses the book annotated.Part One: The Annotated Christmas Carol as a volume of annotation.Frankly this reviewer was not impressed by the annotating. While some annotations seemed superfluous there were points where comment seemed called for and none was included. The annotator did point out some instances of cant but failed to discuss other points of possible confusion in the text. For example, it is difficult to judge generosity or economy when there is no clear sense of the `real world¿ or `present day¿ cost of things. Did Scrooge pay Cratchit more or less than was common for men in that situation? What are we to imagine Scrooge¿s nephew did for a living? Was it normal for a clerk not to have actual winter coat or is Cratchit¿s need to wear a comforter for warmth common? How unusual was it for someone to have rooms in a building otherwise let out only to offices? Was the Cratchit house of typical size for a family of that number? And was a family of that size typical for a clerk making the wages Cratchit could expect? While the annotations were not adequate to answering these questions they also did a bad job of contextualizing the ways in which the England of Dicken¿s time was changing as the industrial revolution took hold and society became more and more urban. Part Two: The Christmas Carol - a story by Charles DickensThe reviewer has always found this story to suffer from fractured logic and distasteful theology. Scrooge is initially visited by the ghost of Marley warning him as to the ¿after life¿ consequences of the way Scrooge has chosen to live. Then that aspect of the story is dropped. Scrooge¿s visitors do not terrify him with warnings of punishment to come but rather taunt him with memories, loneliness and death. The Spirit of Christmas Past does no more than remind Scrooge of past hopes and disappointments. As Scrooge himself said, a bit of undercooked potato could bring about the same kind of vivid dreams. The Spirit of Christmas Present shows Scrooge all the people who are celebrating Christmas that year. Yet Scrooge knew that people were doing this long before he was visited by this Spirit. Indeed he complained of them doing so since their behaviour wanted thrift on their part and presumed much on the generosity of those who, like him, did not celebrate the season. Indeed the Scrooge, first met by the reader, would have asked what good all the singing, praying and worship was doing these people who would be as cold and hungry the day after Christmas as they were the day before. Would they have not been better off to invest the money spent on the Christmas dinner and used the energy they expended on Christmas celebrations to improve their own circumstances? As for the horror previewed by the Spirit of Christmas Future it was simply that Scrooge would die alone (something he must have long since realized) and that enterprising people would attempt to make money from his corpse and belongings. This reviewer is tempted to believe that the Scrooge met in the opening pages would have actually approved of, if not applauded, the behaviour of these men and women who did not let superstition and convention stand between them and the making of a profit. In sum, Scrooge¿s dread realization was that he had once had foolish dreams, that those around him who partook in Christmas were not all repaid with warmth and good food and that he, like all human beings, would die. It is unconvincing that even three nights of dreams that underscored that reality would do much to shake him from the habits, attitudes and beliefs of a lifetime. Scrooge is not convincingly motivated by fear of the afterlife: he is, apparently, suddenly visited with the emotions that Charles Dickens imagined he would feel were he in Scrooge¿s circumstances. Since someone who felt about the world as did Dickens would n
Stbalbach on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The classic Christmas story first written in 1843 when Dickens was still early in his career it was an instant success that allowed him to break out of debt. A richly detailed short story that requires annotations to fully appreciate the mid-19th century terms and venacular. It can be read over multiple times without tireing in its densely woven and richly described atmosphere. I plan to read it again next Christmas. The Norton Annotated is so well done it is hard to imagine anything better, a great piece of artwork in its own right.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This is just a reprint with extras of a book Hearn published in 1976 and again in the '80s. So he is by no means a new author. Yes it is bigger and lavish and more expensive even with the passing of time. But as a true 'A Christmas Carol' lover how can you pass it up?