Image for Mrs Dickens' Family ChristmasNot currently available on BBC iPlayer

Duration: 1 hour

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.

In this 60-minute film for BBC Two, 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.

Last on

Thu 20 Dec 2012 20:00 BBC HD


Sue Perkins
Mark Halliley
Mark Halliley
Executive Producer
Basil Comely
Interviewed Guest
Michael Slater
Interviewed Guest
Robert Douglas-Fairhurst
Interviewed Guest
Pen Vogler
Interviewed Guest
Lucinda Dickens Hawksley
Interviewed Guest
Claire Tomalin
Interviewed Guest
Lillian Nayder
Interviewed Guest
Oliver James
Assistant Producer
Nick Tanner
Production Manager
Marian Lacey


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