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Dickens of London

3.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Featuring a stellar cast, this 13-part Masterpiece Theatre mini-series traces the extraordinary life of Charles Dickens (portrayed by Roy Dotrice) from his penniless childhood in Chatham and London during the 1820s, to the unprecedented success he later enjoyed on both sides of the Atlantic. This 5 DVD Set includes the bonus disc An Audience with Charles Dickens, a recreation of Dicken's public performance of "A Christmas Carol," starring celebrated actor Simon Callow.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Roy Dotrice, Simon Bell, Diana Coupland, Gene Foad, Ben Kingsley
  • Directors: Michael Ferguson, Marc Miller
  • Format: Box set, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Koch Vision
  • DVD Release Date: August 14, 2007
  • Run Time: 773 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000QGE860
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #231,757 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Dickens of London" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Charles Dickens remains a powerful force and a wonderful treasure in English letters. While he is not read as much as he once was and certainly deserves more attention in our schools, there is no reason for you to not treat yourself to his wonderful multifaceted genius. I think that the vast difference in our 21st Century American culture is so different than his pre-Victorian England (particularly London) that some readers can't find an easy way into his works. This wonderful 13 part mini-series from 1976 can provide a help in understanding something of that time and place and in the ways that Dickens used his own life in his writing.

This series is not a straight biography of Dickens. We meet the mature Dickens on one of his profitable and sensational American tours. His experiences in American cause him to think back on his life and we experience portions of his biography in these flashbacks. The script is quite faithful to the events depicted in these looks backward into the author's life. Obviously, the writers had to make choices between debatable events and they filled in some gaps with fictions that captured the time and some possibilities in Dickens' life that also show up in his writing. The mature Dickens that is on the American tour is made up as a narrative device and captures the flavor of what Dickens experienced as a celebrity in mid-19th Century America, but the people and events are fictions to setup the flashbacks and expose the character and talents of Dickens in his maturity.

The way this story is presented shows us his complicated domestic life without ever getting explicit. The period of his life when he separated from Catherine is completely left out.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I never saw this when originally played on television back in the '70's. If I did, I'm sure my memory would have given me doubts in purchasing this multi-DVD set.
It begins pretty much on the right track, showing Charles Dickens as a young boy with his father and their "adventures" together. Much of the concentration tends to be on his father as much as on Charles, almost in a comedic way, showing the influence he had on his son.
It is pretty much right on, giving us a glimpse of the early life of this Victorian author, including his unfortunate occupation in a blacking factory. No child labor laws here!
Next we see Charles as a young man, beginning his career as a writer. It shows us how he met his future wife, Catherine Hogarth, his obsessive love toward his sister-in-law, who, sadly, dies before the age of twenty, the strange relationship he and Kate had, and, if true, his own - dare I say it - anal personality. Yes, he did not come off as the nicest of people. Throughout these middle episodes we see Mr. Dickens' behavior continue to become rather eccentric, and not necessarily in a good way. He grows to be, at least in my eyes, an unlikable person, one who can snap at any moment; one who does not treat his wife nor his friends in an agreeable manner. (Although Kate comes off as a bit of a winer. Then again, he did marry her and not her sister, right?). This also shows the famous author as a womanizer, an unfortunate truth. And, according to this, much of his flirting was thrown directly into Kate's face. If this is true, she deserved to be a winer. I am assuming here that this is correct, seeing that the Charles Dickens Museum folk gave their support for this project.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a very good series about the author Charles Dickens and his life. The acting is the best part-- especially since Roy Dotrice is a natural as Dickens, and those playing his wife and children are quite convincing. There are really authentic period costumes and fine but not elaborate sets. It is the appeal of telling a life story of a famous author in a simple, old fashioned way. Most of the series is historically accurate, although the Edgar Allan Poe episode may be somewhat conjectural. This series was done mostly on video, and being made in the 1970's with the technology of that time, it has an unsophisticated look. It was shown on Masterpiece Theatre in the U.S., but this appears to be the U. K. broadcast version since there was no host at the beginning of each episode. This edition does not include any bonus features. There are only four discs without the performance of "A Christmas Carol", which was included on a bonus disc in the 2007 edition. That edition offered more for the viewer. It seems a bit strange and unfortunate because the new set is supposed to be a special edition. Still, it is worthy of purchase since all thirteen parts of the original miniseries are included. Also, the price is much lower (now it is under $23 at Amazon) than most DVD sets containing four discs. This is a good set, but some additional features about Dickens' life and times would have made it much better as a bicentenary edition.
Comment 11 of 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
Koch Vision present "DICKENS OF LONDON" (Released: September 28, 1976) (720 mins/Color) (Dolby Digital) --- Under Michael Ferguson (Director), Marc Miller (Director / Producer), Wolf Mankowitz (Screenwriter), David Cunliffe (Executive Producer) --- Originally aired in 1976 on PBS, the lavish ten episode mini-series follows the fascinating life of Charles Dickens, foremost novelist of the Victorian era who produced some of the most memorable writings in the English language including "A Christmas Carol," "A Tale of Two Cities," "Oliver Twist," "David Copperfield," "Great Expectations" and more --- The critically-lauded series was filmed on location in London and stars multiple oscar nominated Ben Kingsley (Ghandi, Schindler's List), Roy Doltrice (Amadeus, The Scarlett Letter) and Vernon Dobtcheff (M. Butterfly, The Name of the Rose) --- KOCH Vision's collectible DVD set includes all ten, hour-long episodes of the series, as well as a bonus disc featuring a recreation of Dicken's legendary public performance of "A Christmas Carol," starring celebrated actor Simon Callow (Phantom of the Opera, Shakespeare in Love).

the cast includes
Roy Dotrice ... Charles Dickens/John Dickens
Simon Bell ... Charles Dickens (Boy)
Gene Foad ... Charles Dickens (Young Man)
Diana Coupland ... Mrs. Catherine Dickens
Ben Kingsley ... Dr. John Elliotson
Patsy Kensit ... Catherine Hogarth/Dickens
Lois Baxter ... Mary Hogarth
Hetty Baynes ... Fanny Dickens as a woman
John Breslin ... Lawyer
Adrienne Burgess ... Catherine Hogarth/Dickens
Karen Dotrice ... Maria Beadnell
Richard Leech ... Mr. Hogarth
Samuel Matthews ... Edgar Allen Poe
Christine McKenna ... Georgiana Hogarth
Pheona McLellan ...
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