Charles Dickens and A Christmas Carol

Charles Dickens and A Christmas Carol | Source
Mr. Fezziwig's Dance
Mr. Fezziwig's Dance | Source
Scrooge and Marley's ghost
Scrooge and Marley's ghost | Source
Old Fezziwig's Christmas ball
Old Fezziwig's Christmas ball | Source
Scrooge and Bob Cratchit
Scrooge and Bob Cratchit | Source
A Christmas Carol, Ignorance and Want
A Christmas Carol, Ignorance and Want | Source

Charles Dickens

Charles John Huffam Dickens was born at a house in the Mile End Terrace, Commercial Road, Landport (Portsea) on February 7, 1812. He was an English novelist born to parents of the lower genteel class. Dickens was the second child of eight born to John Dickens and Elizabeth Barrow. The family lived for a time in Portsea, and London before moving to Kent where Dickens spent his childhood near the dockyard at Chatham from 1816 to 1821. It was here that many of the characters in the Pickwick Papers were born.

A Window Into The Past

Not only is A Christmas Carol a revealing look into the life of Ebenezer Scrooge, miser and eccentric; but it is a window into the world of the early to middle 1800s. A world that no longer exists. While this world is very charming and civil on the surface, it was a very gritty existence for the lowest class. Sickness and disease were rampant. Pollution covered the London of Dickens world and it would not have been a nice place to live.

The Blacking Warehouse

When young Charles Dickens' father ended his career in the Marshalsea which was a debtors prison, he ended up earning his living as a young hand at blacking warehouse, at Old Hungerford Stairs, on a salary of six shillings a week. He tied, trimmed and labelled blacking pots for over a year, and consorted with two very rough boys, Bob Fagin and P01 Green. He roomed in an attic in Little College Street, Camden Town, in the house of Mrs Roylance (Pipchin).

Dickens was a bright and talented boy who felt humiliated by the two years he spent working at the blacking warehouse. He tended to wallow in his humiliation at times in later years although that time in the streets and warehouse gave him sights, sounds, and experiences that facilitated his writing in a wonderful way.

Charles Dickens The Reporter

In 1831 he became a very good reporter and realized an ambition when he “entered the gallery” as parliamentary reporter to the True Sun. In time he worked as a reporter to the Mirror of Parliament and then to the Morning Chronicle. In spite of the tribulations Charles Dickens endured through the years, he put every experience and memory to good use with vivid characterization in his many novels. His finances had ups and downs and he and his family had to recoup their fortunes for a time in a villa on the outskirts of Genoa. Eventually he and his family were able to return to London when the money improved.

A Christmas Carol

One of the most beloved characters created by Charles Dickens, Ebenezer Scrooge, was the miserly mean spirited man who was visited by the three ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future.

Scrooge was created during one of the periods of financial scarcity when Dickens penned A Christmas Carol at the end of 1843 to pay his debts. It proved to be a financial disappointment but Thackeray called it a national benefit. In spite of the lack of monetary success during his lifetime, A Christmas Carol lives on today as a perennial Christmas favorite.

The World of Charles Dickens

show route and directions
A markerPortsea UK -
Portsea, Portsmouth PO1, UK
[get directions]

Charles Dickens was born here.

B markerLondon, UK -
London, UK
[get directions]

C markerCamden Town UK -
Camden Town, London NW1, UK
[get directions]

Dickens lived here during his youth.

Alastair Sim 1951

George C. Scott 1984

Ebenezer Scrooge

Scrooge has been played by many actors in musicals and movies. Which actor is your favorite?

  • Alastair Sim 1951 and 1971
  • Albert Finney 1970
  • George C. Scott 1984
  • Patrick Stewart 1999
  • Kelsey Grammar 2004
  • Bill Murray "Scrooged" 1988
  • Michael Gambon "Dr. Who" 2010
  • Henry Winkler "An American Christmas Carol"
See results without voting

A Christmas Carol...The Movies

I am a die hard fan of A Christmas Carol. I have many of these versions in my personal collection. Ebenezer Scrooge is an interesting character and it is fascinating to watch the different interpretations given by different actors. The movie is not only defined by the characterization but by the time period in which the movie was made. Every version while displaying elements of the period reflected in Dickens' book, also reveals the intellectual thought processes of the age in which the movie was made. The earliest of these movies came out in 1938 while the latest version premiered this week in 2009.

Several versions of the video have been presented so you can have a resource to compare these versions all in one place. My all time favorite is the musical with Albert Finney but the Patrick Stewart version is an enjoyable movie. The black and white movie made in 1938 directed by Edwin L. Marin, with Reginald Owen, Gene Lockhart, Kathleen Lockhart is a pleasant journey into the past and worth watching. Henry Winkler gave us an American Christmas Carol which was passable. I love Henry Winkler but was not particularly enchanted with this version of the story. Whichever version you prefer, I hope you take the time to enjoy A Christmas Carol this year. You will find yourself in the Christmas spirit!

Patrick Stewart 1999

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Comments 8 comments

Smireles profile image

Smireles 6 years ago from Texas Author

You are right, I was trying to be complete. OMG! Scrooge McDuck! Now that takes me back...not to my childhood, but my kids! Thanks for the reminder.

wsp2469 profile image

wsp2469 6 years ago from Alta Loma, Ca

Sure Dickens had a few girlfriends. There was no radio, TV or internet. What ELSE was he supposed to do.

I agree with you about Winkler. I just figured you were trying to be complete otherwise I would not have mentioned him. Then again, maybe you are right to leave out cartoon characters since so many tv shows (including cartoons) did takeoffs.

There ya go! You could do a whole new hub on non-human Scrooges--cartoons, Muppets, etc. Feel free to use the idea as I have already had my fill of Christmas for now. Oh! There was a Disney version too with Scrooge McDuck.

Smireles profile image

Smireles 6 years ago from Texas Author

No, you did not miss anything. I clean forgot Mister Magoo and Fred Flintstone. I love Henry Winkler but did not much care for his version, but that is not the reason he is not here. Again, I forgot about him. I will update this hub to get him in. I think I have seen every version out there, too! Thanks for the reminder.

wsp2469 profile image

wsp2469 6 years ago from Alta Loma, Ca

Did I miss something or did you miss Mister Magoo as Scrooge? What about Fred Flintstone? What about Henry "The Fonz" Winkler as an American version of Scrooge?

My "baby-momma" is big on "A Christmas Carol" so I think I've seen every version to date.

AEvans profile image

AEvans 6 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

I enjoy A Christmas Carol too! and I have learned something new about Charles Dickens wow! Thanks for sharing :)

Smireles profile image

Smireles 6 years ago from Texas Author

I had no idea Dickens was a womanizer! That did not show up in my research! I really have a hard time choosing my favorite although Albert Finney is in the lead because his movie was a musical and I loved the scene from the future when Scrooge finds everyone celebrating his death and he had no idea he was dead! Absolutely wonderful!

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

I'm a huge CC fan! I taught Dickens and the book for years. My favorite movie version is the George C. Scott one. Did you know Dickens was a terrible womanizer?

Thanks. I enjoyed your hub!

Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 6 years ago from Moundsville, WV

I agree with your pick of the Patrick Stewart version but my all time favorite is the Alastair Sim version. It's a must watch for me every Christmas season. Good Hub.

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