Audience versions of this page: FamilyOn December 19, 1843, the short novel A Christmas Carol, by English author Charles Dickens, was published for the first time. It has never been out of print since.A Christmas Carol introduced many familiar holiday characters, phrases, and themes. The characters’ names practically speak for themselves: the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, Scrooge’s hardworking assistant, Bob Cratchit, or Cratchit’s ill son, Tiny Tim. The dismissive phrase “bah, humbug!” is almost entirely associated with Scrooge, and, although the words had been occasionally used together for centuries, Dickens was the first to popularize the phrase “Merry Christmas”! Finally, the theme of A Christmas Carol is a moral one—the bitter Scrooge learns the value of generosity and kindness through the intervention of four ghosts (Scrooge's friend Jacob Marley, Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Yet to Come).A Christmas Carol has been adapted hundreds of times in many, many media. Dickens himself was fond of performing readings of the book. Many theater companies stage annual holiday productions of A Christmas Carol. Dozens of movies and television shows have adapted the story. There are A Christmas Carol operas and ballets. Some adaptations poke fun at the original story, with the Scrooge character not learning his lesson. Some adaptations have attempted to continue the story, with the adventures of an adult Tiny Tim or Scrooge saving the world from zombies!
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry adapt Verb
to adjust to new surroundings or a new situation.
type of formal dance with detailed, precise movements.
having to do with causing pain and suffering in others.
loving or having a liking for.
having a giving or useful nature.
period of celebration or honor.
to mediate or modify the outcome of an event.
to create, begin, or make an idea known for the first time.
ability to act out of compassion, respect, and sympathy.
person who selfishly hoards money.
right, just, or good.
fictional narrative or story.
comic or dramatic play in which all roles are sung.
to provide a written piece of work, such as a book or newspaper, for sale or distribution.
building or outdoor space for hosting performances.
supernatural "living dead" creature.