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Discover Dickens through his work, his home and the things that mattered to him most

The Scandalous Sister? Georgina Hogarth

Jordan Evans-Hill speaks to Christine Skelton, the author of 'Charles Dickens and Georgina Hogarth: A Curious and Enduring Relationship.' 

Bonus: Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins

Jordan Evans-Hill and Emma Harper discuss the fascinating friendship between Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins. 

Episode Six: Food, Glorious Food

Why was food so important to Dickens? What do his descriptions tell us about Dickens as a person? And did he really help to make turkey the most popular Christmas meat?

Episode Five: Striking A Blow

Was Dickens attempting to agitate for political change? What were his perceptions of the political structures of the day? And how political was 'A Christmas Carol?'

Episode Four: Ignorance and Want

Were these figures based on real children? Why are they included in an otherwise joyful part of the story? What is Dickens trying to tell his readers through these characters?  

Episode Three: Making A Christmas Carol

How was 'A Christmas Carol' designed? Who drove its creation? And what does all this tell us about Dickens as a writer?  

Episode Two: Scrooge's London

What was London really like in the 1840s? What help was available to the London poor? What was life like in the Victorian slums? And how did all of this shape Dickens's writing? 

Episode One: Charles Dickens and Christmas

Episode One introduces us to the remarkable, little book, 'A Christmas Carol.'

Audio: Mamie Dickens on Dickens’s Studies

In this extract, we hear Dickens’s eldest daughter Mary, affectionately known as Mamie, sharing her memories of Dickens’s studies from several family homes.

Audio: Mamie Dickens’s memories of Dickens at work in his study

In this extract we hear Dickens’s eldest daughter, Mamie, recall her memories of watching Dickens at work in his study channelling his characters.

Audio: 'The Bastille Prisoner'

In this extract, we hear chapter two of The Bastille Prisoner, based on Book One from A Tale of Two Cities.

Audio: The Small Servant from 'The Old Curiosity Shop'

In this excerpt from 'The Old Curiosity Shop', Dick Swiveller observes the Brasses’s badly treated young servant girl having a meagre meal.

Audio: Mamie Dickens on Dickens’s Tidy Nature

Dickens’s eldest daughter Mary, affectionately known as Mamie, shares in this extract her memories of Dickens’s love of neatness and beauty.

Audio: A letter from Catherine Dickens

Listen to this extract to hear Catherine describing their family holiday to her good friend Mrs Felton.

Audio: Sam Weller from 'The Pickwick Papers'

In this excerpt from Dickens’s first novel, The Pickwick Papers, the popular character Sam Weller shares a meal in the servants’ quarters.

Audio: Dickens’s Dreams of Mary Hogarth

In this excerpt from a letter to his mother-in-law, we hear Dickens reflect on the death of Mary Hogarth and the impact that it had on him.

Audio: ‘Personal’ from 'Household Words'

In this audio extract, we hear Dickens announce his separation from his wife Catherine and protest his innocence in the face of rumours about his infidelity.

Audio: Dickens’s autobiographical fragment

Hear in Dickens’s own words, his recollection of the loneliness and hardship of working as a child.

Audio: A Letter to a Chimney Sweep

In this letter to a chimney sweep, we hear Dickens bring his chimney to life.

Audio: The Earliest Known Letter by Dickens

Hear in this audio track the earliest known letter by Dickens written as a 13-year-old schoolboy in 1825.

Audio: An Invitation to Dickens’s Birthday Dinner

In this audio extract, we hear Dickens’s humorous invitation for his friend John Harley to join them at his birthday dinner.

Audio: ‘Gin Palaces’ from 'Sketches by Boz'

In this audio excerpt, hear Dickens’s beautifully atmospheric depiction of a gin palace from Sketches by Boz.

Audio: ‘Drooping Buds’ from 'Household Words'

In this excerpt, Dickens describes a visit to the newly founded Hospital for Sick Children in Great Ormond Street.

Audio: Description of a mews from 'Little Dorrit'

In this excerpt from Little Dorrit, Dickens describes a mews in evocative detail.

Audio: Dickens on Prisons and Solitary Confinement

Following his first visit to America, Dickens published American 'Notes'. Hear in this excerpt his observations on prisons and solitary confinement.

Audio: Dickens's hall clock

In this letter full of his characteristic humour, Dickens requests a repair for his hall clock.

Audio: Jo the Crossing Sweeper from 'Bleak House'

Hear Dickens describe in this excerpt from Bleak House the poverty and hardship faced by Jo the crossing sweeper.

Audio: 'A Preliminary Word' from 'Household Words'

Hear Dickens’s opening lines from his weekly journal, 'Household Words' upon its launch in 1850.

Audio: Mr Gradgrind from 'Hard Times'

Hear an excerpt from Hard Times, in which Dickens describes Mr Gradgrind's rigid approach to teaching.
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