Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it: and Scrooge’s name was good upon ’Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail. Mind! I don’t mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a door-nail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade. But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile; and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it, or the Country’s done for. You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that Marley was as dead as a door-nail. Scrooge knew he was dead? Of course he did. How could it be otherwise? Scrooge and he were partners for I don’t know how many years. Scrooge was his sole executor, his sole administrator, his sole assign, his sole residuary legatee, his sole friend, and sole mourner. And even Scrooge was not so dreadfully cut up by the sad event, but that he was an excellent man of business on the very day of the funeral, and solemnised it with an undoubted bargain.
In the history of English literature, Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, which has been continuously in print since it was first published in the winter of 1843, stands out as the quintessential Christmas story. What makes this charming edition of Dickens's immortal tale so special is the collection of 80 vivid illustrations by Everett Shinn (1876-1953). Shinn, a well-known artist in his time, was a popular illustrator of newspapers and magazines whose work displayed a remarkable affinity for the stories of Charles Dickens, evoking the bustling street life of the mid-1800s. Printed on heavy, cream-colored paper stock, the edges of the pages have been left rough, simulating the way in which the story might have appeared in Dickens's own time. Though countless editions of this classic have been published over the years, this one stands out as particularly beautiful, nostalgic, and evocative of the spirit of Christmas.