Dickens at 200…celebrate the life and works of Charles Dickens.
Dickens died before completing his last novel, leaving its mystery unsolved and encouraging successive generations of readers to try and work out what happened next.
London in the 1840s worships money at the expense of love. Mr Dombey pins all his hopes and affections on his son, Paul, and cruelly neglects his loving daughter, Florence. This novel charts Dombey's progress through tragedy to enlightenment.
'Bleak House', Dickens's most daring experiment in the narration of a complex plot, challenges the reader to make connections between the fashionable and the outcast, the beautiful and the ugly, the powerful and the victims. Nowhere in Dickens's later novels is his attack on an uncaring society more imaginatively embodied.
A mixture of memory and fiction, this novel is based on a walking tour of England undertaken by Dickens and Wilkie Collins.
Dickens wrote this story of a boy forced to live in a dark and dismal workhouse lorded over by Mr Bumble to draw attention to Victorian social ills. Desperate but determined, Oliver makes his escape and finds that life in the harsh streets of London's underworld makes the workhouse look like a picnic.
'The Pickwick Papers' takes its title from the Pickwick Club founded by Mr Samuel Pickwick, and of which Messrs Tracy Tupman, Augustus Snodgrass and Nathaniel Winkle are members.
Rich in drama and romance, this deftly plotted 1859 historical novel bristles with suspense and culminates in a daring prison escape in the shadow of the guillotine.
Anne Isba "Dickens and women"
A colourful account of the half dozen most important women in Dickens' life, this book addresses what is both an important and controversial aspect of the author's life.
Valerie Lester "Phiz"
'Phiz' - Hablot Knight Browne - was the great illustrator of Dickens' fiction. For over twenty-three years they worked together and Phiz's drawings brought to life a galaxy of much-loved characters, from Mr Pickwick, Nicholas Nickleby and Mr Micawber, to Little Nell and David Copperfield.
Mike Paterson "Inside Dickens’ London"
An evocative account of 19th-century London, so well known from Charles Dickens' much-loved novels. It draws on descriptions of life in the capital from original letters, diaries and newspapers, as well as Dickens' own social commentary, to paint a vivid portrait of a city undergoing massive social changes.