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There is so much written about Charles Dickens, I can only here convey Happy Birthday wishes, a few pictures, a few links and a reminder to watch the Masterpiece Classic Dickens extravaganza beginning February 15 [check your PBS listings]





Further Reading: [with endless links to biographies, works, criticism]


Masterpiece Classic is hosting its Dickens tribute beginning on Sunday February 15.  Here is the lineup and the PBS commentary on each of the adaptations:

Oliver Twist
This bold adaptation breathes new life into the Dickens story about the young orphan Oliver who is sent to the workhouse where children are raised on a diet of hard work and thin gruel. Starring Timothy Spall as Fagin the cutpurse king, Tom Hardy as Bill Sikes, Fagin’s accomplice and Sophie Okonedo as Nancy, Oliver’s guardian angel.

David Copperfield
Charles Dickens’s beloved novel gets all-star treatment in this encore presentation of David Copperfield. An event for the entire family, the cast includes Maggie Smith, Ian McKellen, Bob Hoskins – and an irresistible ten-year-old Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) as the young boy against the world.

Little Dorrit
One of Dickens’ greatest love stories also has the timely theme of financial collapse. Matthew Macfadyen (Pride and Prejudice) stars as hero Arthur Clennam, with Claire Foy as Amy “Little” Dorrit and Tom Courtenay as her father, who has been incarcerated for 25 years for insolvency. Scores of other great actors appear in this moving tale.

The Old Curiosity Shop
A teenage girl and her grandfather lose everything to a maniacal moneylender and flee his relentless pursuit. The saga of Little Nell, Grandfather, and their tormentor, Daniel Quilp, is one of Dickens’ most heart-rending tales. Derek Jacobi stars as Grandfather, with Sophie Vavasseur (Northanger Abbey) as Nell and Toby Jones (W.) as Quilp.


 And for those of you who like your literary heroes sitting upon your bookshelf, here is the must-have Dickens Action Figure:


Happy Birthday, Mr. Dickens!!