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Mrs Dickens' Family Christmas

Looking at the marriage of Charles Dickens through the eyes of his wife Catherine, Sue Perkins exposes the lesser known reality of the Dickens family Christmas - very different from the heart-warming versions he presented in A Christmas Carol.

Sue turns her attention to the woman behind the man, revealing parallels between the female characters he created and his changing affections for his wife, namely, in Dickens's mind, her transition from innocent virgin to middle-aged frump.

Scrutinising Dickens's public defence in a national newspaper of his treatment toward Catherine, Sue seeks to set the record straight, promulgating her unconditional love for Dickens and support for his career.

Along the way, she has plenty of laughs, evokes the realities of Victorian marriage, interviews many of today's leading biographers of Mr and Mrs Dickens, explores Charles's role in creating Christmas as we know it - and gets to make a twelfth night cake.

Release date:

1 hour

Last on

Sun 17 Dec 2017 20:00


Role Contributor
PresenterSue Perkins
ProducerMark Halliley
DirectorMark Halliley
Executive ProducerBasil Comely
Interviewed GuestMichael Slater
Interviewed GuestRobert Douglas-Fairhurst
Interviewed GuestPen Vogler
Interviewed GuestLucinda Dickens Hawksley
Interviewed GuestClaire Tomalin
Interviewed GuestLillian Nayder
Interviewed GuestOliver James
Assistant ProducerNick Tanner
Production ManagerMarian Lacey