Thursday, December 25, 2014

Doll-A-Day 331: Merry Christmas! It's Ebeneezer Scrooge

  Merry Christmas! I am, of course, writing this before Christmas, as on the day I am celebrating with Ken and the kids.
   I have a couple of literary obsessions that I collect things from: Lewis Carroll's Alice books, and Charles Dickens "A Christmas Carol". Today's doll is Dickens most famous character, Ebeneezer Scrooge from "A Christmas Carol".

This Scrooge doll is a bit of a mystery to me. I got him at a doll auction, and I have no idea of the maker, or any other details about him.If anybody can tell me the maker, or the artist, I'd love to know. (It's pretty obvious he's Scrooge though!)

I think his head and hands are porcelain. His body is stuffed, and his arms and legs are wired for some poseablility.

He has beautiful detailing in his mouth and eyes. His hands are wonderful too. Just look at the hand holding his nightcap.

That nightcap doesn't stay on very well.

He's in a sitting position,and I think his legs are bendable. so he might be able to stand up too.

He has nicely made clothing. His slippers are real leather, and as well made as real shoes.

I would love to have a wing backed chair to sit him in. I may have to make him one.

 "A Christmas Carol" is one of my favourite stories, and we read it every Christmas Eve. At least, we start to read it. Everybody falls asleep on me before I finish. I collect different versions of the book, figures/dolls based on the characters,and watch every movie version of the story. One of my favourite versions is The Muppet Christmas Carol. Emma and I  always say that The Muppet Christmas Carol uses more of Dickens actual lines and narration from the book than any other movie version we've seen. I bet you didn't expect that.
Amazingly clear old photograph of the actual Charles Dickens.
Charles John Huffman Dickens was born in Portsea, a small island off the southern coast of England, in 1812. Charles had to leave school at the age of 12,when his father was sent to debtor's prison. As was common at the time, the elder Dickens' wife and youngest children also went to debtor's prison with him. Charles lodged with an older lady whom he would later make into Mrs. Pipchin in "Dombey and Son". He worked at a 'blacking', or shoe polish, company, where he earned six shillings a week pasting labels on boot blacking bottles.The building was old, with rotten floors, and full of rats. Eventually the elder Mr. Dickens inherited money from a relative who had died and was released from prison. Charles' mother, however, chose not to bring Charles home immediately. Charles experiences influenced his life and his writing. He became a campaigner for children's rights, raised money for institutions such as the London Foundling Hospital,(Which helped stop the practice of "dropping": Murder being illegal, overtaxed parents would often turn to "dropping" their infants in the street to die a "natural death".) One of Charles Dickens most famous novels concerned 'Oliver Twist', a boy destined for the workhouse, who turned to crime, and whose story eventually had a happy ending.  
  "A Christmas Carol" was written in 1843, following a lecture tour of America.
"I am the Half Blood Prince..." Is J.K. Rowling a Dickens fan? A Snape-ish portrait of Dickens, painted during his 1842 tour of America.
 Ironically, during his trip Dickens rounded up 25 writers, including "Sleepy Hollow" author Washington Irving, to sign a petition to be sent to congress,to stop writers' works from being pirated. I say 'ironically', since in the past year it has been suggested that Dickens stole the ideas behind "A Christmas Carol" from stories published in The Lowell Offering, a literary magazine containing the writings of young lady mill workers in Lowell Massachusetts. Many of the elements from "A Christmas Carol" show up in The Lowell Offering stories: the lonely man visited by a spirit who takes him back to scenes from his younger days,(Afterward the man promises to "endeavor to profit by the advice he gave me".) is only one.Dickens did definitely read The Lowell Offering stories. He met with the young ladies from the mill and was so impressed he went out and bought  back issues of The Lowell Offering, and later wrote that he had read them "from beginning to end". Of course, the 'spirit as guide' was not an uncommon theme in those days, and The Lowell Offering itself includes several stories which use it.
  In any case, "A Christmas Carol" is phrased in Dickens beautiful words. We'll never know for sure if he intentionally ripped off the poor mill ladies.

  Tomorrow we'll see another doll. We have 6 more days of Doll-A-Day, and then I'll be slowing down a bit. My commitment to Doll-A-Day was for a year, and that's coming to a close. I'll still be posting, but not every day. Check back to see the last 6 dolls of the year.

1 comment:

  1. Maybe Faith Wick?

    John Nickolaus-Johnson


Thanks in advance for your comments.