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Dickens in America

4 customer reviews

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Dickens in America + The Mystery of Charles Dickens + Dickens of London (Bicentenary Celebration Edition)
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Editorial Reviews

Join actress and Dickens enthusiast Miriam Margolyes (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Legend of the Guardians, Being Julia, Ladies in Lavender, The Age of Innocence) on a 10-part journey that follows the route of Charles Dickens' tour of the United States and Canada in 1842. It was this trip upon which he based his travel book, American Notes - a comic, critical record of the country's morals, flaws and fashions. From the White House to West Point, Miriam presents the Dickensian view on money, manners, slavery, corruption, greed, politics and religion. Witty and sometimes surprising, Dickens in America offers a fascinating insight into mid-nineteenth century North American life and how much - and how little - has changed in the years since the great author's tour.


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Miriam Margolyes
  • Directors: Christopher Swann, Richard Shaw, Sarah Howitt
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BFS Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: March 1, 2011
  • Run Time: 300 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004JMSIW2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,406 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Linda in Santa Cruz on September 5, 2012
Verified Purchase
I loved this series so much I didn't want it to end. Miriam Margolyes is the most educated, opinionated, expressive, curious, and spontaneous guide one could ever hope to follow. As with the best documentaries, the conversation between narration, visual scene, and storytelling is superb.

Very few people know that Dickens visited the United States--twice--and even fewer have read his idiosyncratic memoir of the 1842 trip, "American Notes for General Circulation." Dickens wrote about the U.S. at an interesting time, nearly two generations after the Revolution, and a generation before the Civil war. Most Americans are not only ignorant of Dickens's tour, we are ignorant of this entire period of our history.

I meant to say the memoir was idioscyncratic because his itinerary was a personal one. Dickens was interested in poor people, in crime and punishment, and in charitable institutions like the Perkins School for the Blind. So Margolyes's travelogue--as much as she can--duplicates his interests. In the big northeastern cities, Dickens visited prisons and hospitals. In Virginia, he takes in as much of slavery as he can stand. Margolyes too visits the same dark, sad places and her spontaneous and emotional reactions are quite moving; and precisely why Dickens (and Margolyes) share them with us. And since she is so fascinated with Dickens, she--and we--begin to understand Dickens in a context we might not have known before. Even if you are familiar with this period of history, or Dickens's biography, reliving this trip at Margolyes's elbow will surprise you.

There are many more delights in this series that I could describe, but I urge you to buy it and discover them for yourself. Ask some friends over for the evening and watch a few episodes together. If you love Dickens, or America, you will love "Dickens in America."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By randy mueller on March 8, 2014
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Miriam Margolyes is very entertaining as the narrator. She is obviously enamored with the subject matter. I learned a good deal about Dickens that I did not know, as well as about areas of New England.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Quill on July 9, 2011
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All us lovers of the works of Charles Dickens certainly enjoy a rollicking retour of Dickens's 1842 trip to America. Miriiam Margolyes is a superb tour guide.
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7 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Kaisen on August 6, 2011
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Do not buy this DVD if you want to learn much about Charles Dickens 1842 tour to the Americas.
Less than 15% of the dialog and video will actually be about Dickens.
Most of this presentation is about the contemporary observations and opinions of M. Margolyes, who along with most of her interviewees are quite full of themselves..
I gave up on this show after a passionate exhortation about the rooftop basketball court (with panoramic view) in a NYC jail; this was immediately followed by a visit to the Roosevelt Island insane asylum ruins. When a developer started explaining how the site was to be converted into modern upscale condos (not a bad idea I will admit) I threw the entire DVD collection into the trash (no I won't sell it to any of you suckers).
The Dickens I say or at least I wish this was so.
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