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


“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!