R. William (Bill) Bennett is the author of Jacob T. Marley, The Christmas Gift, and a new Christmas novel being published by a major publisher for Christmas, 2019
"Marley was dead to begin with . . . "
These chillingly familiar words begin the classic Christmas tale of remorse and redemption in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.
But, what about Jacob Marley? And why hadn't he been given the same final chance of redemption as Ebenezer Scrooge?
Or had he?
-From the preface:
What of old Jacob? We know he was a “good man of business,” from Scrooge’s corrupted view of life. There is a small mention of his dress and hair. We also know, by Marley’s own account, given as he began the process of turning Scrooge, that he regretted the life he lived. Most important, although he came from a world in which spirits of men were consigned to wander the earth, feeling the pain of remorse but having no access to the balm of reparative action, he was able to procure for Scrooge the visits of the three spirits as a final warning to avoid his own fate. In fact, Marley was able to provide the introduction to that most impactful night personally to Ebenezer in a brief but life-changing encounter. From that moment, Jacob is but a memory, properly acclaimed by Scrooge in the first morning of his new life. Who was this Jacob Marley? Why was he so evil? Why did he in fact get to visit Scrooge and usher in the experience that changed first Ebenezer and then so many of our lives? Why did Scrooge get a final chance to change and not Jacob Marley? Or did he?