Yesterday, my mom, sister, daughter, niece & I went to see Disney's new version of A Christmas Carol. (At the link, you can learn more about the film, see clips, images, and even play a few games!) It was a great movie, though pretty scary.
As I sat watching it (my mom & I went to the 2D version while the others saw it in 3D), I remembered the play my sister and I had been in when I was about Alex's age. I played one of Tiny Tim's sisters. (If my mom can find a photo, I'll post it!) Anyway, I was amazed at how I was remembering so many of the lines from the opening scene!
Last night, my niece (11) found a copy of A Christmas Carol at my mom's house. My sister offered to read it for awhile as a bedtime story. We all sat around the living room listening to her... she's a wonderful reader! Anyway, I was really surprised at how closely the movie followed the book - most of the time it was word for word!!!
We only read about 4 (of 47) pages in 20 minutes. They are long, hard pages... but very enjoyable! We had a few questions, like why did it say "Stave 1" instead of "Chapter 1?" And, when Scrooge was talking with the two men collecting for the poor, what was the Treadmill?
I got online today and found The Annotated Christmas Carol which answered both of my questions. It is called a "stave" (an archaic term for staff, a stanza of a poem or a song) instead of a "chapter" because Charles Dickens wanted to continue the "pretense of his story being a 'Christmas carol in prose.' And, the Treadmill was "a mill operated by persons walking on steps fastened to the circumference of a great and wide horizontal wheel." It was a form of criminal punishment. You can see a photo of one here.
A Christmas Carol: The Whole Story. It is an unabridge version with wonderful illustrations and lots of background information, though much less than the annotated version. Many of the illustrations look surprisingly like those found in the Disney movie!
Another great website is found here with more information about Dickens here. This page on the same site is about Dickens & Christmas. Fascinating reading!!!
I'm excited to be learning about Dickens & A Christmas Carol with my sister & our girls. I bought the girls each their own Dover verion today, too. And, you can find online versions at sites like this one which unfortunately uses the word "chapter" instead of "staves."
So, I hope you find a way to enjoy the classic "A Christmas Carol" this holiday season!
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