Dickens’s original manuscript of A Christmas Carol, on view in New York’s Morgan Library and Museum, serves as the centerpiece of the Morgan’s holiday programs. Charles Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol in a six-week flurry of activity, beginning in October 1843 and ending in time for Christmas publication. He had the manuscript bound in red morocco as a gift for Thomas Mitton, his solicitor. It passed through several owners before Pierpont Morgan acquired it during the 1890s. The Morgan also holds the manuscripts of two of Dickens’s later Christmas books, The Cricket on the Hearth and The Battle of Life, neither of which achieved the popularity of A Christmas Carol.
Although only one page of the manuscript is put on view each year under glass at the Morgan, this year, the Morgan has agreed to allow The New York Times to photograph and display the entire handwritten manuscript online.
Readers are invited to click here to examine the high-resolution images and submit what they think is the most interesting edit in the work, either a deletion or an addition, or here to view the entire 66 pages. Declan Kiely, the curator who heads the library’s department of literary and historical manuscripts, will review the submissions and pick the one he finds most intriguing. The winner will be invited to tea at the Morgan.
[Photo courtesy of Angel Franco/The New York Times]