EBENEZER SCROGGIE—ADAM SMITH’S GREAT NEPHEW. After I had posted before Christmas on Scroogenomics, I was pleased to find that Charles Dickens based his character Ebenezer Scrooge on a great nephew of Adam Smith. The story is told here by Timothy Taylor (the Conversable Economist) (link via the Marginal Revolution blog). Dickens visited the Canongate graveyard in Edinburgh (a small churchyard where I visited the grave of Adam Smith). Dickens saw a gravestone there which he misread as: “Ebenezer Lennox Scroggie–mean man.” Dickens wrote in his diary: “How bleak to have one’s shrivelled soul advertised forever.” Dickens thereby committed a great injustice to Scroggie. He misread the inscription. It actually said: “Ebenezer Lennox Scroggie—meal man” A meal man was a corn merchant.

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