Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it: and Scrooge's name was good upon 'Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail.
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. First published on 17th December 1843, it had, by Christmas Eve of that year, sold 6000 copies at a price of five shillings.