Looking over Dickens' Shoulder Print
Written by Sherry   
Wednesday, 02 December 2009 08:29
Another amazing boon of the internet:

The only hand-written manuscript of Charles Dickens' Christmas Carol is now available online in its entirety, courtesy of the Morgan Library and the New York Times.

Scribbles, strike-throughs and all. See what changes you can decipher from the manuscript and then join in the online conversation. If you are like me, and know most of the Carol's cadences by heart (Oh, but he was a squeezing, grasping, wrenching, grasping, covetous old sinner. . . Secretive and self-contained and solitary as an oyster.) it is thrilling to see how Dickens' story evolved and the changes that he made with his own hands.

There is something breath-takingly magical - at least for me - to stand before and read the original manuscript of a great, well-beloved work of literature. You can see Jane Austin's juvenile "History of the World" or the original pages of Alice in Wonderland online via the British Library. I've stood in reverent awe before them both in London but now I can visit online and never leave home.

The British Library is such a storehouse of treasures. One of which is the original autograph of George Frederich Handel's Messiah. Here is the link to the great "Amen" at the end.