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No, not that Christmas carol

'phiz" was the pseudonym adopted by Hablot Knight Browne at the start of his 23-year association with Charles Dickens. He illustrated 10 Dickens novels, beginning with the episodic "Pickwick Papers." This was published, monthly, under the pen name "Boz" (a nickname for a younger brother of Dickens dubbed "Moses," then "Boses," then "Boz"). Browne presumably chose "Phiz" to be as neatly monosyllabic and silly as "Boz." The name suited the comic aptness of Browne's illustrations for Dickens's writing. It is also perhaps understandable that someone named Hablot might like to hide behind a different label. What he would have called himself had Dickens stuck to "Tibbs," another early pen name, can be only guessed. Phiz did other work, including contributions to Punch, the humor magazine. Where this color engraving "A Christmas Carol" was first published is unclear, but it was not in the identically named Dickens novel. That was illustrated by John Leech.

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