Yesterday we revealed why A Christmas Carol, despite being a huge success immediately after it was published in December 1843, didn’t make Dickens much money. Today, we’re looking at some of the surprising legacies and adaptations of this classic book.
For instance, take the world of gastropods. There is a species of Fijian snail called Ba humbugi, named after Scrooge’s famous exclamation in A Christmas Carol. This may have been because the snail was discovered on the island of Mba, and this suggested ‘ba’, and, in turn, Scrooge’s catchphrase. We say ‘catchphrase’, but Scrooge only utters the words ‘Bah, humbug!’ twice in the whole story (though he exclaims ‘Humbug!’ a number of times).
There have been countless stage, screen, and radio adaptations of A Christmas Carol. The first film adaptation was a short silent movie version in 1901, titled Scrooge; or, Marley’s Ghost. You can watch it here. There have been opera and ballet versions, an all-black musical called Comin’ Uptown (1979), and even a 1973 mime adaptation for the BBC starring Marcel Marceau. The Muppets, Mickey Mouse, and Mr Magoo have all featured in adaptations of the book. In the last few years there have been film adaptations in 1997, 2001, 2006, and 2009, suggesting that this classic tale is likely to endure for some time yet.
Image: The Muppet Christmas Carol 2 (author: Eustace Dauger), Flickr, labelled for reuse.