Not every literary masterpiece has taken months or even years to write (sorry, Marcel).
Robert Louis Stevenson composed his initial draft of Jekyll and Hyde in
a matter of a few days. For Charles Dickens—the master of the serialized story—writing
the full version of A Christmas Carol took just six short weeks. He literally
wrote it in a fever in the fall of 1843, as he was suffering from a bad cold when
The Morgan Library & Museum in New York City owns the only manuscript of A Christmas
Carol: 66 boldly scrawled pages filled with Dickens's emendations. Levenger
now offers the only full-color facsimile of the manuscript, a priceless record of
how a great storyteller created one of the most enduring of all Christmas stories.
Here, some pages from the Levenger Press book showing the first-ever appearance
of Scrooge, Marley, Tiny Tim, Bob Cratchit and the Ghosts of Christmas.
To produce high-definition facsimiles, the Morgan took the unprecedented step of
removing the binding that the manuscript was housed in and washing each page three
times. The result is a color and clarity never before seen on these manuscript pages
since Dickens penned them in 1843.
Click to view full image (Actual page is larger)