Which Came First, The Word "Scrooge" Or Charles Dickens' Character "Scrooge"?



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The character Scrooge came first. In his famous story A Christmas Carol (1843), English novelist Charles Dickens (1812–1870) created Ebenezer Scrooge, a stingy shop owner who is cruel to his employees. Scrooge has a series of visions of Christmases past, present, and future, and he confronts the fact that he is a lonely and despised. Upon paying a visit to the joyful home of his underpaid clerk, Bob Cratchit, on Christmas Day, Scrooge undergoes a transformation. He becomes a cheerful, loving person who is in turn loved by all. By 1899 the term "scrooge" had come to mean a miserly, heartless person.

Further Information: Charles Dickens. [Online] Available http://www.skittler.demon.couk/victorians/dickens.htm, October 23, 2000; Charles Dickens. [Online] Available http://www.optonline.com/comptons/ceo/01322_A.html, October 23, 2000; Fido, Martin. Charles Dickens: An Authentic Account of His Life and Times. New York: Hamlyn, 1970; Price, Martin. Dickens: A Collection of Critical Essays. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1967.

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