The most popular of all ghost stories was first published on 17 December 1843, and by Christmas Eve 6, 000 copies had been sold at a published price of five shillings. The story of Scrooge, a miser who becomes a different man when he is presented with visions of past, present and future by Marley's ghost, was an immediate success and has remainded so ever since. It is a book to read on Christmas Eve beside a blazing fire - and the best introduction to Dickens for young readers not quite ready for his longer novels. Arthur Rackham, master of the fantastic, illustrated the story in 1915.
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.