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Charles Dickens's Christmas Carol

decoration30 Nov. 2010|09 Jan. 2011

Greeted with universal acclaim at the time of publication, A Christmas Carol might rightfully be called an "instant masterpiece." William Makepeace Thackeray called it a "national benefit" and an American factory owner gave his workers an extra day's holiday when he had finished reading it.When the manuscript was returned after printing, Dickens arranged for it to be finely bound in red morocco leather and presented it as a gift to his solicitor. It was purchased by Pierpont Morgan in the 1890s. The original manuscript by Dickens is on view in a special presentation in the museum's newly restored McKim Building. The manuscript reveals the author's method of composition: the pace of writing and revision, apparently contiguous, is rapid and boldly confident. Revisions are inserted for vividness and immediacy of effect. Deleted text is struck out with a cursive and continuous looping movement of the pen, and replaced with more active verbs and fewer words to achieve greater concision. Dickens's manuscript shows vividly his efforts to create the highest-quality literary work in the shortest possible time.


30 Nov. 2010|09 Jan. 2011
225 Madison Avenue
New York
The Morgan Library & Museum
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