The perfect Christmas Tale - Out Now!
Ebenezer Scrooge is not a happy man. He is not a kind man and he is not a giving man. He is a man wrapped in the bitterness of his upbringing and his loneliness.
The ghost of his "dead as a doornail" business partner, his only friend Jacob Marley, sets scrooge on a heartbreaking path not only to change but, eventually, to reconciliation and happiness.
A brand new presentation of the original story by Charles Dickens, narrated by CC Hogan in a London accent. A dark and yet warm telling of this iconic tale.
Some interesting words
Generally speaking, English of the mid-nineteenth century (this book was published in 1843) is not so very different from our own.
There are some differences that I noticed when recording. Firstly, Dickens loved the semi-colon and broke up list-type sentences with a veritable herd of them.
He also used an exclamation mark for a rhetorical question, which I rather like, as it happens.
The sentence construction can be challenging and alien sometimes and I hope I have made enough sense of it for you.
There are a few interesting words too.
Laocoon - Pron: Lay-Oh-Coh-On. This was the name of a Trojan priest who was crushed to death by two sea-serpents. In the story, Scrooge makes a "perfect Laocoon of himself with his stockings." I can only surmise that the stockings are his sea serpents, though he survives the ordeal in this case!
Residuary - this is the person left the remainder of an estate.
Excrescence - something that grows out of something!
Comforter - a name for a scarf.
Water-Plug - A fire hydrant.
Play the deuce with - have a bad effect on something.
Fancy - not being dressed up smart, but being imaginative - fanciful.
Gruel - broth and oats. You will get more of this in Oliver.
Genius - in the book it refers to a spirit or genii, rather than some bright person.
Humbug - Many people believe Dickens invented this word, but he didn't. It seems to date from a century earlier, according to the OED. Means nonsense, but in a derisory way.
Jocund - Cheerful. Chaucer spelt it iocund, so there you go. Make a delight of something.
Out upon! Away with, to hell with, that sort of thing.
Twelfth Cakes - traditional offering on Twelfth Night.
Execrable - detestable, deserving to be cursed.
Desert Moor - Desert, in this case, means empty or forsaken. It is the main meaning of the word, actually, not dry as in desert!
Cant - According to the OED it is to speak in the whining, singsong way used by beggars, or the peculiar jargon of thieves. So, a little sarcastic, perhaps.
Frousy - well, the OED has frowzy as the more common spelling and says it can mean ill-smelling, frusty, or having a dirty, neglected appearance.
Walker - a term basically meaning, "what rubbish." OED has Hookey Walker. Dates from the early nineteenth century so would have been common parlance at the time.