Did you know that the New York Public Library is in possession of a lot of Charles Dickens's personal items? Amongst their collection you'll find everything from his writing desk to his dead cat's paw. Yeah, ol' Dickens had his cat's paw mounted to a letter opener when it died—in case you're wondering, it still sheds:
One of the more special items from the collection, Dickens's own personal copy of A Christmas Carol, will be on display in the McGraw Rotunda of the Schwarzman Building (3rd floor) later this month (exact date TBD). Dickens used this same copy for public readings, and it includes his own hand-written edits in the margins, as well as voice instruction and notes on audience reaction.
Last year, Neil Gaiman read from it, following the edits and prompts Dickens left behind:
The book is on display along with a Christmas themed T.S. Eliot book; Christmas greetings by James Joyce, Sean O'Casey, E.E. Cummings, and Maurice Sendak; and a Christmas letter from Jack Kerouac to his future wife, Stella Sampas.