What to read and watch on Dickens’ Birthday: best novels and adaptations

February 6, 2020

Charles Dickens is one of the most outstanding, successful, and beloved authors of the 19th century. His stories are full of kindness, humor, and humanity, which makes them an ideal basis for cinema and television. Since 1911 (the first film adaptation of the David Copperfield novel), more than 70 (!) movies and TV series based on the novels of the British author have already been shot and re-shot. On Dickens's birthday, we suggest recalling his most iconic books and their newest adaptations.

A Christmas Carol

A little bit sad but enlightening story with a happy ending inspired many directors and animators for real masterpieces. Of recent versions, it is worth to mention the beloved animation of Robert Zemeckis with Jim Carrey, Gary Oldman, and Colin Firth. And don't forget about the latest creation of the BBC - a rather gloomy mini-series with Guy Pearce in the leading role. The creators often deviate from the original, which makes the project even more exciting.

Great Expectations

An exciting novel about a peasant boy from the countryside, who suddenly received privileges of wealth and luxury life in London. The hero will have to understand that even the biggest money can not turn a bad and selfish person into a good one. It is quite easy and exciting to read the novel “Great Expectations,” from the first to the last page. As for the adaptations, then pay attention to the eponymous TV series of 2011, noted by many prestigious awards, including 4 Emmy and 3 BAFTA.

David Copperfield

An amazing, full of adventure and humor book, which Dickens himself recognized as his most autobiographical work. The story of a young man, who, despite all the troubles, does not lose optimism and faith in his strength. It is perhaps the most popular Dickens novel, which has been filmed countless times, but we suggest watching the 1999 TV film, with Daniel Radcliffe as a young hero.

Oliver Twist

Oliver can hardly be called a lucky one: his mother died during childbirth, and in an orphanage shelter, he has to endure constant hunger and bullying. The boy decides to escape, but the harsh London is also not too welcoming. If you're not familiar with this exceptional story, it's a great time to buy an "Oliver Twist" novel and learn about his amazing adventures. And after reading, be sure to watch the 2007 film adaptation by BBC, which received two BAFTA awards.

Little Dorrit

Perhaps it’s the author’s most controversial book, which many have criticized for its complexity and lack of humor. At the same time, Bernard Shaw and Dostoevsky admired the novel. Dickens once again portrayed 19th-century British society with all its flaws. The book fascinates the reader, and the plot captures from the first pages. The spirit of the novel was perfectly recreated by the eponymous series with Claire Foy and Matthew Macfadyen in the lead roles. The project was nominated for a Golden Globe and BAFTA and also received seven Emmy awards.

Bonus: Dickensian

The 2015 British TV series, based not on the one specific novel, but the whole Dickens literature! Well-known characters from various books live in masterfully recreated 19th-century London. Their fates are wonderfully intertwined, and the viewer learns many secrets and receives answers to questions that remained after reading the novels. A true gift from the BBC to all Dickens lovers.

Charles Dickens’s birthday is an excellent occasion to read your favorite British writer’s stories on eye-friendly PocketBook e-reader. The memory of the gadget can store thousands of books, which means – all Dickens novels in electronic or audio formats!