Grafting A Christmas Carol


The piracy of A Christmas Carol that provoked Charles Dickens to sue (at considerable cost) for copyright damages in the Court of Chancery appeared as a two-penny issue of an ephemeral magazine called Parley’s Illuminated Library. Although it was long thought to be lost, this pastiche survives in a bound volume of that journal among other quoted and “reoriginated” works. This essay characterizes the unusual textual mixtures that make up that volume, and notices especially the hybrid qualities of Dickens’s “reoriginated” Carol.