Dickens on Radio 4Charles Dickens (1812 - 1870)

Dickens in London: The Sparkler of Albion

From 28 November to February 2012, the BBC will celebrate the work of one of Britain's greatest writers with Dickens on the BBC, a season of documentary, drama and discussion programmes across television and radio.

The season begins on Monday 28th November with Book of the Week, in which Claire Tomalin's acclaimed new biography Charles Dickens: A Life is read by Penelope Wilton. Other highlights from Radio 4 include award-winning writer Ayeesha Menon's reworking of Dickens' Martin Chuzzlewit, set and recorded on location in Mumbai, India and Dickens in London, five short plays based on Charles Dickens' journalism about walking in London, adapted by Michael Eaton to tell the story of the writer's life.

Dickens in London: A-Not-Overly-Particularly-Taken-Care-of-Boy

Charles Dickens on Radio 4

  • Charles Dickens

    Dickens In London

    Monday 28 November - Friday 2nd December 2011, 9.45am

    Five short plays broadcast to mark the bi-centenary of Charles Dickens's birth.The theme of these plays is the Dickens's changing relationship with the city that fired his imagination. Each of the plays tells a unified, 'stand-alone' story, but it also contributes to an over-arching narrative - organised around the sounds of the city and the life story of the man whose footsteps pounded those streets. Chris Newby, in association with Film London and the Arts Council, has created 5 films to accompany the radio drama.

  • Charles Dickens

    Book of the Week: Charles Dickens: A Life

    Monday 28 November - Friday 2nd December 2011, 9.45am

    Claire Tomalin's acclaimed new biography of Britain's great novelist paints a portrait of an extraordinarily complex man. Abridged by Richard Hamilton and read by Penelope Wilton.

  • victorian orphan in street

    A Tale of Two Cities

    Monday 26th - Friday 30th December 2011, 2.15pm

    Robert Lindsay and Alison Steadman star in a new dramatisation of Charles Dickens' classic, A Tale of Two Cities, dramatised by Mike Walker to be broadcast on Radio 4 as a sequence of five Afternoon Plays in the week after Christmas.

  • dickens writing

    The Tale of A Tale of Two Cities

    Thursday 29th December 2011, 11.30am

    When Dickens wrote A Tale of Two Cities in 1859 it was, for him at least, both 'the best of times' and 'the worst of times'. He had separated from his wife, started a new weekly journal and was becoming increasingly recognised as a performer of his own works. But the process of creation for his new novel was the same as ever. A tightly written manuscript on individual leaves was whisked off to the printers, proof read and edited by the author and then made available, instalment by instalment, to a loyal public.

    For this programme, crime writer Frances Fyfield has been given access to those original manuscript pages, held by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and along with the scholar Robert Patten and actor David Timson, she explores the frantic hand-writing, the ferocious self-editing and the sheer energy of Dickens' writing.

  • Charles Dickens with headphones

    Charles Dickens' iPod

    Sundays from 1st January 2012, 1.30pm

    David Owen Norris recreates Charles Dickens's favourite music.

  • Mumbai Chuzzlewits

    The Mumbai Chuzzlewits

    Sundays from 1st January 2012, 3.00pm

    Award-winning writer Ayeesha Menon's rework of Charles Dickens' Martin Chuzzlewit is set amongst the Catholic community in modern day Mumbai, India.

    Recorded on location in India, the cast stars Roshan Seth, Karan Pandit, Zafar Karachiwala and Nimrat Kaur.


    Watch films from behind the scenes of the series, produced by Goldhawk productions Watch

  • Miriam Margoyles in David Copperfield

    David Copperfield

    From Monday 2 January, 10.00am & 3.00pm on BBC Radio 4 Extra

    The Dickens novel, following the life of David Copperfield from childhood to maturity

  • The Mystery of the Mystery of Edwin Drood

    Thursday 19th January 2012, 11.30am

    Crime writer Frances Fyfield uses the hand written manuscript of Charles Dickens' last, unfinished novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, to try and answer some of the many questions about the last days of Dickens' life and, more particularly, the loose ends of this tantalising novel.

    Mr Grewgious, The Reverend Septimus Crisparkle and Edwin Drood himself may not be the most familiar of Dickens characters. Writer Simon Brett and Dickens authority Jenny Hartley join Frances in London's Victoria and Albert Museum to explore whether there is a way of explaining the disappearance of the eponymous hero, Drood, and whether Dickens was aware of the fragile state of his health, through the last book in their Dickens manuscript collection.

    Frances also travels to Rochester, the setting of the mysterious story with its angular take on the Cathedral community and the town which the author knew so well.

    This programme complements the broadcast of Gwyneth Hughes' new BBC TWO drama, The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

    Dickens at the V&A

From the Radio 4 Archive

  • Front Row with Mark Lawson

    Front Row: Claire Tomalin

    Available to listen

    Mark Lawson talks to Claire Tomalin about Charles Dickens, his contradictions and insecurities and whether they were an essential part of his genius.

  • Dickens

    In Our Time: Dickens

    Available to listen

    Melvyn Bragg discusses the achievements of Charles Dickens What is his political and literary legacy to our age?

  • Desert Island Discs

    Desert Island Discs: Dickens

    Available to listen

    Sir Trevor Nunn, Victoria Wood, Chris Evans, Nick Hornby and Eric Clapton are among the 61 Castaways who selected a Charles Dickens novel as a book to take to their Desert Island.

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