Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Dickens
Life & Career Quiz & London Tour About the Series Resources
about & Career
Introduction The Episodes The Host Credits Schedule

The Episodes

Episode One: Secrets
Episode Two: Blazing Away
Episode Three: Terror to the End
The third episode, "Terror to the End," details the author's growing fame, increasing dissatisfaction with family life, and deepening affection for Ellen Ternan. Rumors about their relationship were rampant, and after 22 years of marriage, Dickens banished Catherine from their home forever. These were years of gloom and discontent for Dickens, as evidenced by his novel BLEAK HOUSE. Nevertheless, his love for Ternan intensified, with secret rendezvous and assumed names. In 1865, Dickens, Ternan, and her mother were traveling together aboard a train that derailed, killing 10 people and injuring many more. Dickens assisted Ternan and her mother, came to the aid of other injured passengers, and even returned to the wreck to recover his manuscript of OUR MUTUAL FRIEND despite the psychological trauma of the accident. The exact nature of his relationship with Ternan is unknown, but Dickens' later works, such as A TALE OF TWO CITIES, GREAT EXPECTATIONS, and OUR MUTUAL FRIEND, were increasingly preoccupied with the theme of unrequited love. One romance he could count on was the love of his adoring public. His readings, which he approached with an almost spiritual fervor, were wildly popular. According to some, the stress of his public readings could have been a factor in his death, which occurred in 1870 after a massive stroke.

Anton Lesser as Dickens and Natasha Little as Ellen Ternan
Dickens on DVD
Dickens DVD cover -- Buy Now
Order by Phone:
1-800-336-1917

Order by Mail:
WNET Video Distribution
P.O. Box 2284
South Burlington, VT 05407

© 2003 Educational Broadcasting Corporation. All Rights Reserved.