A Christmas Carol – resources

The above photos show, in clockwise order: 


Starting the unabridged version – some notes:

Starting Stave 1 of ACC from Hannah Reimer on Vimeo.

See a photo of the original manuscript with Dickens’s revisions.

See the Library of Congress’s illustrated copy of ACC

Why read A Christmas Carol from the Ad Council

VIDEO CLIPS on Dickens:
-click here to go to my Dickens blog and watch the two videos in the most recent post (at the top of the first page).

Info on words in the text:
Ali Baba 
Robinson Crusoe

A Victorian Glossary to help with comprehension of the novel
Bakehouse and Cratchit Christmas Scene vocab

Thanks to Woodlands Junior School in Kent, England (near Dickens’s birthplace) for the following information:
The British currency is the pound sterling. The sign for the pound is £. England does not use the Euro. Although a few of the big shops will accept Euro, it is rarely used across Britain.

Today, the pound (£) is made up of 100 pence (p) exactly like the dollar is split into 100 cents.
The singular of pence is “penny“. The symbol for the penny is “p“; hence an amount such as 50p is often pronounced “fifty pee” rather than “fifty pence”.


  • pounds (£ or l )
  • shillings (s. or /-) and
  • pennies (d.)

But before 1971, England’s money was divided much differently than it is today.

From 1066 to 1971, and therefore, during the Victorian era, the pound was divided into twenty shillings and the shilling was divided into twelve pennies or pence. Therefore there were 240 pennies or pence in a pound.

1 £ = 20 s.(shillings)
1 s. (shilling) = twelve (12) pennies
1 £ = 240 pence

there are 12 pence in one shilling
and there are 20 shillings in one pound
and there are 240 pence in one pound

Check out the Woodlands School’s great page to help us understand old English money

Old money conversions to money used today

  • Sixpence = 2½p today
  • One shilling (or ‘bob’) = 5p today
  • Half a crown (2 shillings and sixpence) = 12½p today
  • One guinea = £1.05 today

QUESTION: In A Christmas Carol, how much was Bob Cratchit really earning?

– On p. 48 of A Christmas Carol, we’re told that Scrooge paid Bob “fifteen ‘bob’ a week”, and “bob” is an English slang word for a shilling. Therefore Bob was earning 15 s. (shillings) a week. 15 shillings is 3/4 of £1.00.

Based on the information below, we could say that Bob was making the equivalent of approximately $100, or a little less, each week.

The National Archives Currency Converter
Measuring Worth website

When you find out the answer you may be very shocked. It is impossible to imagine feeding a family of seven on Bob’s salary; however, it is important to note that some things like food and rent would have been much less expensive than they are today. Nevertheless, the Cratchits are living dangerously close to complete destitution.


Generosity and giving in various religions: “Why Give? Religious Roots of Charity” – an article from Harvard’s Divinity School