A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens brings back memories for me. I remember watching Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol when I was a little boy. I still have the images from this classic animated TV movie in my head when I see adaptations of the story or hear ‘Bah! Humbug!’ or ‘Scrooge’.

Yesterday I reread A Christmas Carol. I was able to easily find a couple of copies on my shelves, so had several books to choose from. I chose to read from this one.

A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens - The Crane Classics - 1908

This small book was published in 1908 by Crane and Company of Topeka, Kansas and is part of The Crane Classics series. These publications were used as supplementary reading material in schools. This book would have cost 15 cents.

At the top of the cover we have two names. I do not know who Ira Palmer was, but know that he used the book in 1914 when he was in 8th grade. I do remember Lucile Lake. She and her husband Charles lived in the town in Kansas where I went to High School. My dad and I would often go and help Charles and Lucile who were an interesting elderly couple. They would often give me books, so I know that is how I acquired this treasure.

While reading the book I was reminded of a library program that I attended back in the mid 90’s near my apartment in Kansas City. Gerald Dickens the great, great grandson of Charles Dickens presented part of A Christmas Carol at the library. I was fortunate to meet him and shake his hand as I was good friends with several of the library staff. Always remember, be nice to your librarians :-).

One of my other options for A Christmas Carol was:

Christmas Stories by Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol - Roberta Paflin - Whitman Classic

This volume of the Whitman Classics contains A Christmas Carol, The Chimes and The Cricket on the Hearth. The book was published in 1951, so is a bit newer than the 104 year old copy that I read. I also have a complete set of The Oxford Illustrated Dickens, and one of the volumes is called Christmas Books.

The Whitman Classic edition is illustrated by Roberta Paflin who was born in California in 1904. She is well know for illustrating children’s books in the 1940’s to 1960’s while living in New York, including numerous ones for Whitman.

Roberta Paflin - Old Scrooge sat in his Countinghouse - A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

My favorite illustration from the book is this one of Scrooge busy at work.

I hope that you take the time to find a copy of A Christmas Carol to read this holiday season. Will you find your inner Scrooge?


p.s. There are many free e-books out there of A Christmas Carol.

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16 Responses to A Christmas Carol

  1. Sheryl says:

    It’s cool how you have several different versions of A Christmas Carol. Does the text differ from one to another?

    • vanbraman says:

      The text is the same. Just different editions. The illustrations are different. The first has none, the Whitman and the Oxford have different illustrations.

      • Sheryl says:

        I once read two different editions of some book (I can’t remember which one) that was first published years ago, and some of the words were different across the books.

  2. letstalkaboutlit says:

    I just started reading this!! I think it’s so much creepier to read A Christmas Carol than to watch any of the film versions, even the Alastair Sims version, which is pretty darn creepy. One thing in the book that I find interesting is the effort that Dickens makes to connect Marley and Scrooge. At one point he says that, even seven years after Marley’s death, people often call Scrooge Marley, and he also makes a point of saying Scrooge doesnt change the name of the business–he keeps his connection to Marley. That helps us really see that Scrooge’s future could easily be the same as Marley’s. Great post–thanks!!

  3. Great posting. I love old books and this classic is one of my favorites: http://marygilmartin.wordpress.com/2012/12/11/authors-charles-dickens/

  4. Glenda McDougal says:

    Your library is a goldmine!!

  5. Boomdeeadda says:

    My favourite production is with Alastair Sims, it’s always fun to watch over and over again. love it. Happy Holidays!

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