The many faces of Scrooge

>> Wednesday, December 19, 2007

One of my favorite novelists of the 19th century is Charles Dickens, and of all of his wonderful tales, A Christmas Carol, is one of my very favorites, and of all of his colorful characters, Ebenezer Scrooge ranks at the top of my list.

A Christmas Carol in Prose, Being a Ghost Story of Christmas (commonly known as A Christmas Carol) is what Charles Dickens described as his "little Christmas Book" and was first published on December 19, 1843 with illustrations by John Leech. The story was instantly successful, selling over six thousand copies in one week and, although originally written as a potboiler to enable Dickens to pay off a debt, the tale has become one of the most popular and enduring Christmas stories of all time.

Contemporaries noted that the story's popularity played a critical role in redefining the importance of Christmas and the major sentiments associated with the holiday. A Christmas Carol was written during a time of decline in the old Christmas traditions. "If Christmas, with its ancient and hospitable customs, its social and charitable observances, were in danger of decay, this is the book that would give them a new lease," said English poet Thomas Hood. (Source Wikipedia)

In the years after Dickens' death, the story was adapted for the stage and later presented in film. In the next few days I will present clips of several of those film adaptations. It's amazing how many there are, and begging your forgiveness if I don't present your favorite. In fact, I won't even be able to present my favorite version, which is the one featuring Patrick Stewart as Scrooge, (from 1999), because of copyright laws.

The first clip I would like to present to you is from the 1951 version, starring Alastair Sim as Ebenezer Scrooge, and Michael Hordern as Marley's ghost.



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