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This comprehensive DVD set explores the life, times and work of Charles Dickens, the great Victorian author. Dickens is undoubtedly one of the great literary geniuses of all time. Yet, there is much about Dickens’ incredible life that remains unknown. His is a fascinating story: from rags to riches, complete with bankruptcy, prison, forced child labour and fame and fortune, overshadowed by guilt and secrecy. This DVD set demonstrates how much Dickens drew upon his own experiences when writing fiction.

Repertoire DVD 1 - UNCOVERING THE REAL DICKENS - The great author’s fascinating biography, presented by Peter Ackroyd, is an innovative mix of documentary and dramatic reconstruction which vividly portrays the author’s extraordinary life. Resembling the plot of one of his novels, this lavish literary production sets out to blur the lines between Dickens’s fiction and his own life. The cast includes Anton Lesser, Prunella Scales and Timothy West. (176 mins)

DVD 2 - DAVID COPPERFIELD - Three hours of classic BBC drama heaven. The 1999 version of the most autobiographical of Dickens’ novels, starring Bob Hoskins, Daniel Radcliffe, Maggie Smith, Ian McKellen, Zoë Wanamaker and Nicholas Lyndhurst. (186 mins)

DVD 3 - A CHRISTMAS CAROL - At his house, a group of friends and relatives listen to Dickens as he tells his Christmas story. Anton Lesser, as Dickens, brings this classic ghost story to life in a masterly and haunting way. (97 mins)

SONGS FROM GROPE LANE - The 12-year-old Dickens escapes his miserable daily life and the blacking factory to enjoy a brief spell of raucous tavern entertainment. Lucie Skeaping’s ensemble performs deliciously seedy pub songs from Dickensian London in the
mid-19th century. (25 mins)

THE MAKING OF “UNCOVERING THE REAL DICKENS” - A surprising look behind the scenes of this evocative production. (27 mins)

Presented in a highly collectable slipcase, this 3 DVD box set also includes a 28 page, full colour illustrated booklet in English, French and German.

‘Anton Lesser made an emotionally charged, almost tremulous, Dickens, especially recreating the writer's inspirational public readings.’
The Times

‘The BBC’s three-DVD set offers its millennium David Copperfield, the lauded Peter Ackroyd three-part drama-documentary Dickens, a dramatised reading of A Christmas Carol starring Anton Lesser, and a genuine curiosity, Songs From Grope Lane (19th Century London pub songs, supposedly enjoyed by the 12-year-old Dickens in spare moments while working at the infamous blacking factory). Anton Lesser makes a fine Dickens and he shines again in the gem of this collection…A Christmas Carol.’
Tribune (USA)

'Charles Dickens was the most-read writer of the nineteenth century and the ultimate superstar of the Victorian era. His novels made a huge impact through their wit, passion and unforgettable characters. In the Netherlands Dickens is sometimes considered stuffy but, if this 3 DVD box proves something then it is the vitality and overall power of his oeuvre. Think of The Pickwick Papers, Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol, and A Tale of Two Cities, books which have retained their relevance and all have been filmed a number of times… For the British, Charles Dickens is a pillar of their heritage. The people at the BBC understood this well and made the four part film of David Copperfield a real labour of love. It is the most autobiographical of Dickens’ stories and the one which he most loved… The actors are top class, in particular Daniel Radcliffe (before he became Harry Potter), as young David Copperfield, Bob Hoskins as the garrulous Wilkins Micawber and Nicholas Lyndhurst as the creepily humble Uriah Heep, are unforgettable. In the documentary Uncovering the Real Dickens, writer Peter Ackroyd tells the fascinating life story of the author and wanders straight through today’s London into the London of Dickens’ time. Through subtle use of computer generated imaging nineteenth century London is brought to life. A good trick from the BBC is that they have interviewed family and contemporaries of Charles Dickens; naturally not real, but the actors are so believable that as a viewer you are totally taken in. The character of William Makepeace Thackeray, one of Dickens’ literary enemies, steals the show with his nasty jibes. Charles Dickens himself is brought to life by Anton Lesser, who gives a memorable performance and is terrifyingly real – as if he has crept under the writer’s skin.'
Klassieke Zaken (translation)

‘I cannot recommend this collection highly enough.’

‘Anton Lesser is the greatest Dickens interpreter around, unafraid to show the darkness in a writer too often seen as relentlessly jolly.’
The Independent

Awards & Accolades:
21st International Festival of Films on Art – ANIMAVISION AWARD FOR BEST FILM FOR TELEVISION

CAT NO: OA 0876 D
REGIONS: All Regions
RELEASED: 01/10/2003

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