4: A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, arguably one of the most quintessential Christmas stories ever written. I love the old illustrations of the story, particularly this one of Jacob Marley’s ghost visiting Scrooge

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“Scrooge remembered to have heard that ghosts in haunted houses were described as dragging chains…..then he heard the noise much louder, on the floors below ; then coming up the stairs; then coming straight towards his door.
“It’s humbug still!” said Scrooge. ” I won’t believe it.”
His colour changed though, when, without a pause, it came on through the heavy door, and passed into the room before his eyes. Upon its coming in, the dying flame leapt up, as thought it cried, ” I know him! Marley’s Ghost!” and fell again.
The same face: the very same. Marley in his pigtail, usual waistcoat, tights and boots…..the chain he drew was clasped about his middle. It was long, and wound about him like a tail; and it was made (for Scrooge observed it closely) of cash boxes, keys, padlocks, ledgers, deeds and heavy purses, wrought in steel.”

I love the atmosphere Dickens creates in this description of Marley’s ghost and his entrance; spooky,certainly, but one wants to know what will happen next!

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