e than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the poor and destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir."
"Are there no prisons?" asked Scrooge.
"Plenty of prisons," said the gentleman, laying down the pen again.
"And the Union workhouses?" demanded Scrooge. "Are they still in operation?"
"They are. Still," returned the gentleman, "I wish I could say they were not."
"The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour, then?" said Scrooge.
"Both very busy, sir."
"Oh! I was afraid, from what you said at first, that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course," said Scrooge. "I am very glad to hear it."
"Under the impression that they scarcely furnish Christian cheer of mind or body to the multitude," returned the gentleman, "a few of us are endeavouring to raise a fund to buy the Poor some meat and drink,
I can't believe I'm 51 years old and never read this Christmas classic before now!! It is so much better than any of the many movie versions that I have seen!! A wonderful wonderful story, timeless, and beautiful, and haunting. I can't recommend this book highly enough.
There are two versions of this classic at manybooks.net. Which one should you choose?
Manybooks has two versions because Project Gutenberg has two versions. The first version is based on an 1843 edition of the book. It is Project Gutenberg etext 45, one of the first ebooks added.
The second book is based on an edition published in 1905 with illustrations and a short introduction by George Williams. It is Project Gutenberg etext 19337. The Project Gutenberg version has one color illustration and four black & white illustrations. However, these are not included in the manybooks version. Both versions of the book at manybooks have one image included, a color image of the book cover. This is based on the Mobipocket format of the book. The other versions may be different.
Since, the illustrations are missing, the only real difference in the manybooks versions of the book is that the 1905 version has a short introduction and better formatting of the chapter titles, or ‘staves’ as Dickens called them. So, between the two versions, I recommend the 1905 edition. Or, if you want it with the five illustrations, download it from Project Gutenberg. You will need to convert it to your preferred format yourself, though.
This is the 1905 edition, so I recommend that you download this one.