“Marley was dead: to begin with.” Five sites to get your Dickens’ Christmas Carol fix

The fall semester is coming to a snowy close. With only a couple of days left of final exams, you may now find yourself with a lot of free time on your hands. What better way to ease  into the Christmas spirit than by bingeing on all things relating to Dickens’ A Christmas Carol? So for your holiday pleasure, here are our top 5 sites relating to Charles Dickens’ classic tale, A Christmas Carol. Note: It is recommended that you nuzzle up to your tablet, laptop, phone, etc. with a warm beverage of your choice in order to fully maximize the experience.

1. Let’s get back to the basics. Check out the Morgan Library’s digitized Dickens manuscript of A Christmas Carol. Dickens had is bound in red Morocco leather and gave it to his solicitor, Thomas Mitton. It’s pretty cool to read the opening sentence, “Marley was dead: to begin with.” in Dickens own hand…..

Dickens, Charles. "A Christmas Carol." Manuscript. The Morgan Library & Museum

2. Getting tired of listing to Christmas music as you wrap presents? Then we suggest listening to this classic recording of A Christmas Carol, read by the late, great comedian Jonathan Winters who recently passed away this year. Produced for NPR, this recording was created based on a “special performing edition prepared by Dickens for his own presentations.” (

Winters Recording of "A Christmas Carol"3. Possibly one of the best animated versions of A Christmas Carol comes from Richard Williams. It was originally produced in 1971 as a made-for-TV production, yet, it was so successful that they released it as a movie. The result- it won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film for 1972.

4. Then we have the classic- The Muppets Christmas Carol. With its infectious songs and cast of beloved muppet characters, you’ll be hard press not to find yourself immediately in the Christmas spirit after viewing it.

5. For those ardent fans who remain in the tri-state area over the holidays, Macy’s Dickens Village is a must see! Immerse yourself in all things Dickens as this “beloved Philadelphia tradition for 20 years” takes you back in time to Victorian London. “Housed in the Egyptian Room of the famed Wanamaker Building, the 6,000-square-foot walk-through experience is now a holiday mainstay at Macy’s. The Village is recently restored, re-built and re-animated so that Philadelphians will be able to take a trip back in time to 1840s London. With 26 heart-warming scenes, the stage is set for the story of ‘Scrooge.'” Yes, please!

To visit….
Nov. 29th – Dec. 31st,
Monday – Sunday, 10am – 7pm
1300 Market Street, Phila.
Easily accessible by public transportation

“Marley’s Ghost Appears Before Ebeneezer Scrooge” taken at the Dickens Village located at Macy’s Center City Philadelphia. Photo by John Fischer.

Have a merry Christmas and a restful break! The library will have limit hours of operation, so check our website for the most accurate information. We’ll see you next year for the start of Spring Semester!!

Categories: Holidays, Web Resources

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