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Written at the same time as Martin Chuzzlewit (1843), A Christmas Carol was the first of five 'Christmas Books' Dickens wrote in the 1840s. It is Dickens's first collaboration with the illustrator John Leech, who provided all eight of the book's illustrations, four of which were hand-coloured plates. Leech would go on, with several other artists, to illustrate all of Dickens's 'Christmas Books'. The illustrations below are taken from the 'King Penguin' edition of A Christmas Carol, published in 1946 and reproduces all of Leech's original illustrations.
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