A Christmas Carol comes home

Selina Scott and friends bring home A Christmas Carol to Malton after buying a rare edition of the book at a New York auction

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A Christmas Carol arrives in Malton

The North Yorkshire town of Malton has become the new home for a rare 1844 edition of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol after a nail-biting New York auction. The specially bound edition was commissioned by Charles Dickens for the wife of his friend, Charles Smithson , after he died.

It is believed that Dickens based the office of Scrooge on Smithson's office on Chancery Lane in Malton and that various residents there became the inspiration for many of his characters. Broadcaster Selina Scott spearheaded a campaign to reclaim Charles Dickens for the rural market town .

"Over the last century or so Dickens intimate association with Malton has largely been based on anecdotal evidence. I have however, discovered in the early archive of my grandfather, who was born in 1867 and was, at one stage, editor of the Malton Messenger, many references to Dickens and A Christmas Carol and Malton's literary heritage.When this rare and remarkable book came up for auction in New York, we had to act. The whole town has come together, raiding savings and piggy banks to raise enough funds. We're proud to have bought the ghost of Dickens's Christmas back."

– Selina Scott, broadcaster

A charitable initiative linked to the book's arrival has been launched called 'Keeping Warm with A Christmas Carol'. To donate, or find out more, click here.

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