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The most popular of all ghost stories was first published on 17 December 1843, and by Christmas Eve 6, 000 copies had been sold at a published price of five shillings. The story of Scrooge, a miser who becomes a different man when he is presented with visions of past, present and future by Marley's ghost, was an immediate success and has remainded so ever since. It is a book to read on Christmas Eve beside a blazing fire - and the best introduction to Dickens for young readers not quite ready for his longer novels. Arthur Rackham, master of the fantastic, illustrated the story in 1915.