Charles Dickens's England
David Nicholas Wilkinson & Emlyn Price
Photographs by Russell Burden
Foreword by Derek Jacobi
From October 2009, Sky Arts will be screening Charles Dickens's England, presented and narrated by Derek Jacobi - a journey through those places, buildings, towns, cities and villages where Dickens lived or was inspired in his writing. The two part series, co-produced by Sky Arts, is the lead production in their Dickens season of programmes and dramas and will air on Sky Arts 1 & 2 and Sky Arts HD. Sky Arts are the only channel in the UK dedicated to all areas of the arts; and with a particular focus on great masters of their craft – from Elgar to Elvis, Sky Arts is the perfect place for one of literature’s most enduring masters.
Charles Dickens is the UK’s most prominent writer since Shakespeare and the literary voice of Victorian England. His characters are universally well known, while his style of writing came to define the episodic cliff-hanger. Over 250 different film and television adaptations have been made of these stories – 34 in the last 10 years.
To coincide with the series, a 256 page book featuring 300 photographs and illustrations will be published, bringing together for the very first time all the of the most important places, towns and cities that were the inspiration to some of the most famous settings in literature. Russell Burdens sumptuous photographs show Cooling Church in Kent, used by the author in the opening chapter of Great Expectations; Miss Havisham’s house in Rochester; the almost forgotten London Roman Bath’s used by David Copperfield; Joe Gargey’s cottage in Chalk, the notorious Bowes Academy, the harshest of the Yorkshire schools, now known to the world as Dotheboys Hall. From Portsmouth to the Isle of Wight, Rochester & Chatham to Broadstairs, Folkestone, Bury St Edmonds, Barnard Castle on to St George’s Hall in Liverpool, as well as a rich abundance throughout London, well over 50 locations are featured. Many of the sites - such as the interiors of 58 Lincoln’s Inn Fields where Dickens first read in public, the All The Year Round offices in Covent Garden where he lived and worked, his childhood home in Chatham and Gad’s Hill in Kent – this, the last in the very long list of his homes - are simply not open to the public and have rarely been photographed.