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Secrets buried within "A Christmas Carol"

A few years ago, the Morgan Museum and Library, which owns the 68-page manuscript of Charles Dickens’ classic tale “A Christmas Carol,” let the New York Times scan all the hand-scribbled, 168-year-old pages and post them online. The Times then challenged its readers to scour through the digital pages of this manuscript for which Dickens apparently “made no working notes, outline, plans, or preliminary drafts” (brave man!), and unlock mysteries buried within his edits.

Over a hundred readers and online sleuths accepted the challenge, including reader Elizabeth Marble who “noticed that Dickens crossed out ‘I’m sick of Christmas,’ at the end of Scrooge’s rant about why he finds the holiday saccharine and stultifying, on Page 4.” I wonder what this Scrooge-like Dickens would say if he were alive today (or perhaps returned as the Ghost of Christmas Future) and saw how his tale of Tiny Tim has become part of the circus around the Christmas festivities.

View the manuscript and the accompanying notes online here.