Frank Fiore – Novelist & Screenwriter

April 30, 2014

How Dickens’ Scrooge Got His Name

Filed under: Frank Remarks — Frank Fiore @ 11:11 AM

In his diaries, Dickens states that Scrooge stems from a grave marker which he saw in 1841, while taking an evening walk in the Canongate Kirkyard in Edinburgh.

The headstone was for the vintner Ebenezer Lennox Scroggie, a relative of Adam Smith, who had won the catering contract for the visit of George IV to Edinburgh and the first contract to supply whisky to the Royal Navy. The marker identified Scroggie as a “meal man” (corn merchant), but Dickens misread this as “mean man”, due to the fading light and his mild dyslexia. Dickens wrote that it must have “shrivelled” Scroggie’s soul to carry “such a terrible thing to eternity”.

If Dickens had not been dyslectic or had better visibility, Mr. Scrooge might never have seen the light of day!

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