Poll: Dec. 19, 2018, Happy 175th Birthday Mr. Scrooge, Mr Cratchit, Tiny Tim, and Everybody Else!
On December 19, 1843, Charles Dickens published the first edition of his short story entitled "A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas." This enduring classic, better known as "A Christmas Carol,” has seen many adaptations for stage, film and television since. It celebrated its 175th anniversary on December 19, 2018. "A Christmas Carol” remains relevant to today despite much of the story being anachronistic. The Poor Law at that time financed the poorhouse, the Treadmill, and debtor prisons by taxing businesses. The taxes that Scrooge paid to finance these establishments have been repealed and faded into the past. In 1843, Christmas was not an official holiday in England, but a half day of business unless it fell on a Sunday, according to Royal Exchange rules. Hence the reason for Scrooge saying to Cratchit the statement about expecting the “All day tomorrow” off. Dickens was an avid advocate for stronger copyright laws in England and internationally. He vehemently disliked people adapting and modifying the plot of his book; he did not receive royalties from these pirated adaptations, which frequently added characters and made significantly changes to the story. Of these film and television adaptations, which do you believe Dickens would most approve? Discuss your opinions, as Dickens did write in the final chapter of the book, “... Over a Christmas bowl of smoking bishop ...”!