"Stave," not "Chapter"


Did you know that Dickens' A Christmas Carol, though a novella, is not broken into "Chapters," but "Staves."

According to Webster's Dictionary, a 'stave' is a vertical wooden post or plank. I presume that Dickens chose to use 'stave' instead of 'chapter' as both a symbolic post to divide the story, but as to vertically stretch across the page like a bookmark, though this is only an elaborate assumption and I have found no proof in the pudding.

That being said, The Ghost of Christmas Past is also divided into staves rather than chapters; six staves to be precise.

Should anyone know why Dickens had chosen to use staves, please leave a comment or reply by email to: info@michaelhebler.com I am eager to be enlightened.

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