“Dickens was facing financial ruin when he imagined Ebenezer Scrooge,” writes Jonathan Yardley in his review of Les Standiford’s The Man Who Invented Christmas: How Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol Rescued his Career and Revived Our Holiday Spirits. Standiford’s work, with its stretch-the-truth main title, gives the background story to the writing of A Christmas Carol in 1843. Pamela Dolan, inspired by an interview with Standiford to reread A Christmas Carol, begins a blog entry:
What sort of Scrooge could say such a thing, you ask? Why, Charles Dickens’ Scrooge, of course, the original meanie himself. If you haven’t read A Christmas Carol recently, you should go back to give it a try. I did, and I was surprised by the colloquial vigor of much of the language and the power of the familiar story to move me.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a stage or screen version of it that has really touched me all that much, but reading it straight through the other night I was astonished to find myself with big tears dripping down my cheeks as I turned the last page. I’ll definitely take the time to read it aloud to my children this season.
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and Standiford’s book about it are both classed in 823.8 English fiction, 1837–1899 (built with 82 base number for English literature, as instructed at 820.1–828 Subdivisions of English literature, plus T3A—3 Fiction from Table 3A Subdivisions for Works by or about Individual Authors plus 8 Victorian period, 1837–1899, from period table at 820.1–828 Subdivisions of English literature, as instructed at T3A—31–39 Specific periods).
Themes can be expressed in Dewey literature numbers only for works by or about more than one author, when one can use Table 3B Subdivisions for Works by or about More than One Author and Table 3C Notation to Be Added Where Instructed in Table 3B, 700.4, 791.4, 808–809. For example, The Oxford Book of Christmas Stories is classed in 823.0080334 Collections of English fiction about holidays by more than one author from multiple periods (built with 82 plus T3B—300, as instructed at T3B—3001–3009 Standard subdivisions; collections; history, description, critical appraisal of fiction, plus 80 from add table under T3B—1–8 Specific forms, as instructed at 801–809 Collections displaying specific features or emphasizing specific subjects . . . , plus T3C—334 Holidays, which has the note “Including religious holidays, e.g., Christmas”).