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Introduction The Episodes The Host Credits Schedule


The great literary genius Charles Dickens said of his characters that he could see them, touch them, and hear them speak. But how much does the world know about Dickens himself? He embodied the spirit of his place and time -- grim, industrialized Victorian London in transition -- yet history and the popular imagination have tended to romanticize the man and his city. DICKENS, a new three-part series, explores the author's life and his psyche through an innovative mix of documentary and dramatic sequences.

Throughout the series, prominent British actors portray the entire cast of real-life characters, including Dickens, his family members, his secret lover, his friend and biographer John Forster, and fellow novelist William Makepeace Thackeray. They appear as interview subjects, commenting on everything from the writer's childhood of hardship and deprivation, which he tried desperately to keep secret, to the scandals and peccadilloes of his adult life. Much of the commentary is based on the actual words of Dickens and others, as recorded in private letters, biographical interviews, and journals.

When to Watch: Check local listings

Anton Lesser as Charles Dickens
Dickens on DVD Episode Descriptions
The series' three episodes encapsulate the author's rags-to-riches story, which includes bankruptcy, prison, forced child labor, and fame and fortune overshadowed by guilt and secrecy.

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Meet the Host
Dickens DVD cover -- Buy Now
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WNET Video Distribution
P.O. Box 2284
South Burlington, VT 05407

Peter Ackroyd
British Dickens expert, Peter Ackroyd, author of LONDON: A BIOGRAPHY, is the series' writer and host.

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