In prose, being a Ghost Story of Christmas

By Charles Dickens
CyberCrayon cover for the classic story A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens - Illustration by John Leech
Illustrations by:
John Leech, George Alfred Williams, Arthur Rackham, Tim Holtrop

"A Christmas Carol" was first published in 1843, and shows the transformation of Ebenezer Scrooge from a lonely, selfish, uncaring merchant to a compassionate businessman, who cares for his fellow man.

After a Christmas Eve visit by the tormented ghost of his old business partner, Jacob Marley, warning Scrooge not to share his terrible fate, three "spirits of Christmas" visit Scrooge to try to convince him to change his ways. The ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future make their message clear, and, after a restless night, Scrooge wakes up and joyfully embraces the holiday of Christmas.

A newly enlightened Scrooge begins to live out a new life of charity, kindness, and compassion in the spirit of the Christmas season, "...and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Every One!"

"A Christmas Carol" is divided into five "Staves" (or, Stanzas, which can be thought of as chapters). Each stave is displayed on its own web pages for you to view, while the printable version (a PDF) of each web page is accessible by clicking on the "PRINTABLE" button below the text (near the bottom of the page). You may need the free Adobe Reader to view the printable documents.

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Stave I: Marley's Ghost
Stave II: The First of the Three Spirits
Stave III: The Second of the Three Spirits
Stave IV: The Last of the Spirits
Stave V: The End of It

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The complete text and most of the illustrations of "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens displayed here are, to the best of my knowledge, in the public domain. New illustrations by Tim Holtrop are ©2011 Tim Holtrop.