David Timson talks about Charles Dickens, much loved for his great contribution to classic English Literature.
One of the most revered works in English literature, Great Expectations traces the coming of age of a young orphan, Pip, from a boy of shallow aspirations into a man of maturity. From the chilling opening confrontation with an escaped convict to the grand but eerily disheveled estate of bitter old Miss Havisham, all is not what it seems in Dickens’ dark tale of false illusions and thwarted desire.
"Great Performance of a classic!"
Sour and stingy Ebenezer Scrooge has an emotional transformation after the supernatural visits of Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come. The novella met with instant success and critical acclaim. A Christmas Carol has never been out of print and has been adapted to film, opera, and other media.
Based in part on Dickens's own life, it is the story of a young man's journey from an unhappy and impoverished childhood to the discovery of his vocation as a successful novelist. Among its gloriously vivid cast of characters, he e.ncounters his tyrannical stepfather, Mr. Murdstone; his formidable aunt, Betsey Trotwood; the eternally humble yet treacherous Uriah Heep; the frivolous, enchanting Dora; and one of literature's great comic creations, the magnificently impecunious Mr. Micawber.
"More saints per capita than any book by Butler"
The most gorgeously theatrical of all Dickens's novels, Nicholas Nickleby follows the delightful adventures of a hearty young hero in 19th-century England. Nicholas, a gentleman's son fallen upon hard times, must set out to make his way in the world. His journey is accompanied by some of the most swaggering scoundrels and unforgettable eccentrics in Dickens's pantheon.
The Pickwick Club sends Mr. Pickwick and a group of friends to travel across England and to report back on the interesting things they find. In the course of their travels, they repeatedly encounter the friendly but disreputable Mr. Jingle, who becomes a continual source of trouble for all who know him. Pickwick himself is the victim of a number of misunderstandings that bring him both embarrassment and problems with the law.
"A true classic! Dicken's characters come alive."
This is Jim Dale's incomparable telling of the beloved A Christmas Carol, a "little book," as Charles Dickens himself called it, which has been treasured by generations since December of 1843. Listeners of all ages will be enthralled as they meet for the first time, or are reunited with, that miser of all misers, Mr. Ebenezer Scrooge.
"Jim Dale is a great narrator"
Little Dorrit is Amy, born in debtor’s prison, the youngest child of debtor William Dorrit, an inmate of the Marshalsea. The two are befriended by a man whose wife hires Little Dorrit as a seamstress. When William Dorrit inherits a fortune, he escapes the Marshalsea. The family, assuming a station befitting their wealth, travel to Italy.
Charles Dickens’ Christmas classic—written in time for the 1843 holiday season—sold out its initial printing of 6,000 copies in one day. It remains Dickens’ most widely read and best-loved work, guaranteed to warm and uplift with the simplicity of its message and the depth of its honest truths. Bah! Humbug! It’s Christmas Eve and miserly Ebenezer Scrooge is in a foul temper—good cheer and joyful spending turn his very insides to vinegar.
"Who am I to review a literary masterpiece"
Provoking an unprecedented outpouring of public grief when it was first published, it follows the story of Little Nell and her feckless grandfather. Forced to leave their magical shop of curiosities in London, they are pursued across the English countryside by the grotesquely evil dwarf Quilp. They escape - but at what cost?
First published in monthly parts from March 1852 to September 1853, this novel follows the fortunes of three pedestrian characters; Esther Summerson, Ada Clare, and Richard Carstone. The story they tell embondies Dickens' merciless indictment of the Court of Chancery and its bungling, morally corrupt handling of the endless case of Jarndyce v. Jarndyce, giving the novel its scope and meaning.
"30 hours was too short for me"
One of Dicken’s best works appraising English society. Highlights the social and economic pressures of the times. A masterwork.
"With a name like Choakemchild what could go wrong?"
Orson Welles' dramatic anthology series Mercury Theatre on the Air, infamous for its Halloween broadcast of War of the Worlds, found a sponsor and became Campbell Playhouse in December 1938. The program continued to feature the charismatic and fiery Welles as both a host and an actor. The great Lionel Barrymore portrayed Ebenezer Scrooge in Campbell Playhouse's annual performance of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." So begins this classic, one of the most beloved novels of all time. Charles Dickens brings the French Revolution to life through such vivid characters as Charles Darnay, the Old Doctor, Sydney Carton and Lucy Manette. The action peaks with the storming of the Bastille, the dreaded symbol of government authority. And the blade of La Guillotine falls again...
"Great Literature and Great Narration"
After escaping from the dark and dismal workhouse where he was born, Oliver finds himself on the mean streets of Victorian-era London and is unwittingly recruited into a scabrous gang of scheming urchins. In this band of petty thieves, Oliver encounters the extraordinary and vibrant characters who have captured audiences' imaginations for more than 150 years.
A Signature Performance: Tim Curry rescues Charles Dickens from the jaws of Disney with his one-of-a-kind performance of the treasured classic. Our listeners loved this version so much that it inspired our whole line of Signature Classics.
"Superb story and reading!"
A complex plot of love and inheritance is set against the English legal system of the mid-19th century. As the case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce drags on, it becomes an obsession to everyone involved. And the issue on an inheritance ultimately becomes a question of murder.
A Tale of Two Cities is one of Charles Dickens's most exciting novels. Set against the backdrop of the French Revolution, it tells the story of a family threatened by the terrible events of the past. Doctor Manette was wrongly imprisoned in the Bastille for 18 years without trial by the aristocratic authorities.
"Truly a Classic"