Charles Dickens Couldn’t Stop Tinkering With ‘A Christmas Carol’
Lovely piece from Atlas Obscura on the history of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. It focuses on how Dickens couldn’t help revising it over and over. I was surprised to learn just how many iterations the text there were, even before the many 20th century film and tv adaptations (the best one of course being The Muppets Christmas Carol).
Dickens intuited that his devoted public would get a kick out of listening to him read from the already beloved text, and he spent decades taking his A Christmas Carol act on the road. He devised different voices and styles for each character, so Tiny Tim sounded nothing like Ebenezer Scrooge. Writers of the period commonly traveled to give lectures, but “reading from your own work was new, and his degree of literary celebrity took it into the stratosphere,” says Carolyn Vega, curator at the Berg Collection at the New York Public Library.
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