BACKGROUND of EBENEZER SCROOGE (Illustration) Ethics Famous People Fiction Nineteenth Century Life Social Studies Victorian Age

This image depicts a view of London, in 1843, as it would have appeared when Dickens wrote “A Christmas Carol.”  Thomas Shotter Boys drew and lithographed the illustration.  He published it, that year, in “Original Views of London as It Is.” 


Walking through the streets of 1843's London, at night, Dickens thinks about his developing story ideas.  He conjures-up a character called "Ebenezer Scrooge."  

Maybe that miserly old man once had a partner who was equally stingy.  Dickens calls that now-dead chap "Jacob Marley."

Scrooge and Marley value money above all else.  They have no love for anyone.  They care about accumulating wealth.  They do not share their resources with anyone and have no plans to use their worldly gains to help the poor.

Is there an antidote to such selfish living?  Dickens, writing during the months of October and November, in 1843, thinks about the "Spirit of Christmas."  Could that be an antidote to selfish living?

In 1843, however, people in Britain do not celebrate Christmas in the commercial sense (of today’s Christmas).  While many people go to church, on Christmas, and engage in the long-standing tradition of “making merry,” not all children receive presents.  While it is “the season” to care about others, not much is done to help those in need.

People, throughout Britain, aren’t really thinking about the less-fortunate among them.  So ... Dickens decides to send a message through his story.  He invents three different "Spirits" - or "Ghosts" - who will teach his main character - Ebenezer Scrooge - a few lessons.  

In the process of educating Scrooge, Dickens finds a way to return "Old Marley" to his former home - a commercial building located in the City of London.  Now a ghost, Marley pays a visit to the dwelling’s current resident (his old partner, Ebenezer).  

Dickens creates the Cratchit family, from the Camden district of London, where poor-but-respectable people live.  Despite their poverty, the Cratchits - with their many children - have a loving home.  

One of the Cratchit children, however, suffers from the negative impacts of poverty.  Tiny Tim will die unless he gets help. 

With this story structure in place, Dickens quickly writes his novella.  The author could use the extra cash such a story could generate, if it catches-on with the public.

0 Question or Comment?
click to read or comment
2 Questions 2 Ponder
click to read and respond
0 It's Awesome!
vote for your favorite

Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Dec 23, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Nov 10, 2015

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"BACKGROUND of EBENEZER SCROOGE" AwesomeStories.com. Dec 23, 2013. Feb 27, 2020.
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Show tooltips