Books

Charles Dickens: The BBC Radio Drama Collection: Volume Two

Charles Dickens (and others)

Thrilling full-cast radio dramatisations of three of Charles Dickens' classic novels. Charles Dickens is one of the most renowned novelists of all time, and this second volume of the dramatised canon of his work includes the gripping historical novel Barnaby Rudge, picaresque comedy Martin Chuzzlewit and bittersweet tale of family relationships Dombey and Son.

Barnaby Rudge Against the background of the anti-Catholic riots of the 1780s, young Barnaby Rudge becomes entangled with the fanatical George Gordon and his campaign for 'No Popery'. But mob violence, the burning of Newgate Prison and the shadow of murder put his life in danger...

Martin Chuzzlewit Disinherited by his wealthy grandfather because of his love for the beautiful Mary, Martin Chuzzlewit sets sail for America to seek his fortune.

Dombey and Son Wealthy Paul Dombey is desperate for a male heir to continue the family business, and neglects his six-year-old daughter Florence. Then, at last, the longed-for son is born – but Dombey's hopes for him go unfulfilled...

With a star cast including Simon Cadell, Bill Nighy, Alex Jennings, Robert Glenister, Geraldine James and Pam Ferris, these BBC radio adaptations bring out all the suspense, adventure, satire and social realism of Dickens' three classic masterpieces. Duration: 19 hours approx.

To Be Read at Dusk

Charles Dickens

'The monstrous thought came into my mind as I perused the fixed eyes and the saturnine face, that this was a spirit, not a man.'

Three ghostly tales from a master of the form, 'The Signalman', 'The Trial for Murder' and the title story, 'To Be Read at Dusk'.

One of 46 new books in the bestselling Little Black Classics series, to celebrate the first ever Penguin Classic in 1946. Each book gives readers a taste of the Classics' huge range and diversity, with works from around the world and across the centuries - including fables, decadence, heartbreak, tall tales, satire, ghosts, battles and elephants.

The Great Winglebury Duel

Charles Dickens

'Desperate-minded villain!'

Two of Dickens' hilarious early stories from Sketches by Boz: 'The Great Winglebury Duel' and 'Bloomsbury Christening'

Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions.

Charles Dickens (1812-1870). All Dickens' novels and other major works are available in Penguin Classics.

A Christmas Carol

Charles Dickens

A Christmas Carol has had an enduring influence on the way we think about the traditions of Christmas ever since it was first published in December 1843. Dickens's story of solitary miser Ebenezer Scrooge, who is taught the true meaning of Christmas by the three ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, has been adapted into countless film and stage versions and is today the most famous and loved of all Christmas tales.

A Christmas Carol

Charles Dickens

Ebenezer Scrooge is a mean old man with no friends or family to love him - he's just so miserable and bitter! One freezing cold Christmas Eve, Marley's Ghost pays Scrooge a visit and an eerie night-time journey begins. The Christmas spirits are here to show Scrooge the error if his nasty ways. By visiting his past, present and future, will Scrooge learn to love Christmas and the others around him?

David Copperfield

Charles Dickens

Dickens's great coming-of-age novel, now in a beautiful clothbound Penguin edition

This is the novel Dickens regarded as his 'favourite child' and is considered his most autobiographical. As David recounts his experiences from childhood to the discovery of his vocation as a successful novelist, Dickens draws openly and revealingly on his own life. Among the gloriously vivid cast of characters are Rosa Dartle, Dora, Steerforth, and the 'umble Uriah Heep, along with Mr Micawber, a portrait of Dickens's own father which evokes a mixture of love, nostalgia and guilt.
Dickens's great Bildungsroman (based, in part, on his own boyhood) is a work filled with life, both comic and tragic.


Charles Dickens (1812-70) had his first, astounding success with his first novel The Pickwick Papers and never looked back. In an extraordinarily full life he wrote, campaigned and spoke on a huge range of issues, and was involved in many of the key aspects of Victorian life, by turns cajoling, moving and irritating. He completed fourteen full-length novels and volume after volume of journalism. Of all his many works, he called David Copperfield his 'favourite child'.
Jeremy Tambling is Professor of Literature at the University of Manchester.

The Mystery of Edwin Drood

Charles Dickens (and others)

The Mystery of Edwin Drood was Charles Dickens final novel, and remained unfinished at the time of his death. In this edition, beloved children's author Leon Garfield gives the story a satisfying ending.

Great Expectations

Charles Dickens

'Hold your noise! Keep still, you little devil, or I'll cut your throat!'

Little orphan Pip scarcely imagines how a terrifying encounter with a convict on the lonely marshes will later transform his life. Pip is more troubled by his visits to strange old Miss Havisham - her decaying wedding dress and the house full of memories - and the beautiful girl Estella who makes him ashamed of his country manners and coarse hands. A blacksmith's apprentice could never hope to win Estella, but then, young Pip's future might not turn out quite as expected...

Includes exclusive material: In ‘The Backstory’ you can learn about Victorian convicts and the alternative ending to Great Expectations!

Vintage Children’s Classics is a twenty-first century classics list aimed at 8-12 year olds and the adults in their lives. Discover timeless favourites from The Jungle Book and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to modern classics such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

Oliver Twist

Charles Dickens

‘Look here! Here’s a jolly life! What’s the odds where it comes from?’

Meet the Artful Dodger, as roistering and swaggering a young gentleman as ever stood four foot six. With him, you’ll run down the dirty backstreets of London to be entertained by the Respectable Old Gentleman and his brood of thieves and pickpockets. Fagin will bring you to ‘the trade’, and make something of you, something profitable.But there’s something about the young orphan Oliver that’s too good for this dark and dangerous world – can he ever escape its clutches?

Includes exclusive material: In ‘The Backstory’ you can learn more about Oliver Twist’s London!

Vintage Children’s Classics is a twenty-first century classics list aimed at 8-12 year olds and the adults in their lives. Discover timeless favourites from The Jungle Book and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to modern classics such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

Bleak House

Charles Dickens

'Fog everywhere. Fog up the river, where it flows among green aits and meadows; fog down the river, where it rolls defiled among the tiers of shipping, and the waterside pollutions of a great (and dirty) city. Fog on the Essex marshes, fog on the Kentish heights. Fog creeping into the cabooses of collier-brigs...'

As the interminable case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce grinds its way through the Court of Chancery, it draws together a disparate group of people: Ada and Richard Clare, whose inheritance is gradually being devoured by legal costs; Esther Summerson, a ward of court, whose parentage is a source of deepening mystery; the menacing lawyer Tulkinghorn; the determined sleuth Inspector Bucket; and even Jo, the destitute little crossing-sweeper. A savage, but often comic, indictment of a society that is rotten to the core, Bleak House is one of Dickens's most ambitious novels, with a range that extends from the drawing rooms of the aristocracy to the poorest of London slums.

The Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.

The Pickwick Papers

Charles Dickens

'The fat boy rose, opened his eyes, swallowed the huge piece of pie he had been in the act of masticating when he last fell asleep, and slowly obeyed his master's orders'

Few first novels have created as much popular excitement as The Pickwick Papers. Readers were immediately captivated by the adventures of the poet Snodgrass, the lover Tupman, the sportsman Winkle and, above all, by that quintessentially English Quixote, Mr Pickwick, and his cockney Sancho Panza, Sam Weller. From the hallowed turf of Dingley Dell Cricket Club to the unholy fracas of the Eatanswill election, via the Fleet debtor's prison, characters and incidents sprang to life from Dickens's pen, to form an enduringly popular work of ebullient humour and literary invention.

The Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.

A Christmas Carol

Charles Dickens

The Penguin English Library Edition of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

"Every idiot who goes around with 'Merry Christmas' on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding"

Charles Dickens's tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, who is haunted by three spirits and learns the true meaning of Christmas has had, along with Dickens's other Christmas writings, a lasting and significant influence upon our ideas about the season as a time for celebration, charity and memory.

The Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.

Dickens at Christmas

Charles Dickens

It is said that Charles Dickens invented Christmas, and within these pages you'll certainly find all the elements of a quintessential traditional Christmas brought to vivid life: snowy rooftops, gleaming shop windows, steaming bowls of punch, plum puddings like speckled cannon balls, sage and onion stuffing, miracles, magic, charity and goodwill.

This beautifully produced Vintage Classics edition gathers together not only Dickens' Christmas Books ('A Christmas Carol', 'The Chimes', 'The Battle of Life','The Cricket on the Hearth' and 'The Haunted Man') but also stories that Dickens wrote for the special seasonal editions of his periodicals All the Year Round and Household Words, and a festive tale from The Pickwick Papers.

A must-have for Christmas, this edition should be as necessary to your festivities as holly, mistletoe and silver bells.

Dombey and Son

Charles Dickens

'The earth was made for Dombey and Son to trade in, and the sun and moon were made to give them light'

Dombey and Son is both a firm and a family and the ambiguous connection between public and private life lies at the heart of Dickens' novel. Paul Dombey is a man who runs his domestic affairs as he runs his business: calculatingly, callously, coldly and commercially. Through his dysfunctional relationships with his son, his two wives, and his neglected daughter Florence, Dickens paints a vivid picture of the limitations of a society dominated by commercial values and the drive for profit and explores the possibility of moral and emotional redemption through familial love.

The Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.

The Mystery of Edwin Drood

Charles Dickens

'In the wakeful misery of the night, girded by sordid realities, or wandering through Paradises and Hells of visions ... I loved you madly'

Dickens' last novel is a mystery built around a presumed crime - the murder of a nephew by his uncle. Dickens died before completing the story, leaving the mystery unsolved and encouraging successive generations of readers to turn detective. Beyond the preoccupying fact of this intriguing crime, however, the novel also offers readers a characteristically Dickensian mix of the fantastical world of the imagination and a vibrantly journalistic depiction of gritty reality.

The Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.

Ladybird Classics: A Christmas Carol

Charles Dickens

This beautiful hardback Ladybird Classic edition of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is a perfect first illustrated introduction to the classic Christmas story for younger readers.

It has been sensitively abridged and retold to make it suitable for sharing with young children from 5+, whilst retaining all the key parts of the story including the three spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Future, little Tiny Tim and his father, Bob Cratchit and, of course, the old miser Ebenezer Scrooge.

Detailed full-colour illustrations throughout also help to bring this classic tale to life.

Other exciting titles in the Ladybird Classics series include Alice in Wonderland, Black Beauty, Gulliver's Travels, The Secret Garden, Oliver Twist, Peter Pan and Treasure Island.

David Copperfield

Charles Dickens

Based in part on the author's own life, David Copperfield is the epic story of a young man's journey of self-discovery - from an unhappy and impoverished childhood to his vocation as a successful novelist. Among the memorable cast of characters he encounters along the way are his brutal stepfather, Mr Murdstone; bubbly Nurse Peggotty; his brilliant, but unworthy schoolmate Steerforth, his eccentric aunt, Betsy Trotwood, the scheming clerk Uriah Heep, the enchanting Dora and the magnificent Mr Macawber - a character much like Dickens' own father. Full of tragedy and comedy in equal measure, David Copperfield remains one of the most enduring and popular of Dickens' novels.

Nicholas Nickleby

Charles Dickens

'"I may grow rich!" repeated Nicholas, with a mournful smile, "ay, and I may grow old. But rich or poor, or old or young, we shall ever be the same to each other, and in that our comfort lies"'

The work of a young novelist at the height of his powers, Nicholas Nickleby is one of the touchstones of the English comic novel. Around the central story of Nicholas Nickleby and the misfortunes of his family, Dickens created some of his most wonderful characters: the muddle-headed Mrs Nickleby, the gloriously theatrical Crummles, their protege Miss Petowker, the pretentious Mantalinis and the mindlessly cruel Squeers and his wife. Nicholas Nickleby's loose, haphazard progress harks back to the picaresque novels of the 18th century - particularly those of Smollett and Fielding. Yet the novel's exuberant atmosphere of romance, adventure and freedom is overshadowed by Dickens' awareness of social ills and financial and class insecurity.

The Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.

Our Mutual Friend

Charles Dickens

"Yours is a 'spectable calling. To save your 'spectability, it's worth your while to pawn every article of clothes you've got, sell every stick in your house, and beg and borrow every penny you can get trusted with. When you've done that and handed over, I'll leave you. Not afore"

Our Mutual Friend centres on an inheritance - Old Harmon's profitable dust heaps - and its legatees, young John Harmon, presumed drowned when a body is pulled out of the River Thames, and kindly dustman Mr Boffin, to whom the fortune defaults.

With brilliant satire, Dickens portrays a dark, macabre London, inhabited by such disparate characters as Gaffer Hexam, scavenging the river for corpses; enchanting, mercenary Bella Wilfer; the social climbing Veneerings; and the unscrupulous street-trader Silas Wegg. The novel is richly symbolic in its vision of death and renewal in a city dominated by the fetid Thames, and the corrupting power of money.

The Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.

A Christmas Carol

Charles Dickens

'Bah! Humbug!'

Mr Scrooge is a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, miserable old man. Nobody stops him in the street to say a cheery hello; nobody would dare ask him for a favour. And I hope you'd never be so foolish as to wish him a 'Merry Christmas'! Scrooge doesn't believe in Christmas, charity, kindness - or ghosts.

But one cold Christmas Eve, Scrooge receives some unusual visitors who show him just how very mistaken he's been...

BACKSTORY: Learn all about how the author Charles Dickens invented Christmas!

Biography

Charles Dickens (1812-70) had his first, astounding success with his first novel The Pickwick Papers and never looked back. In an extraordinarily full life he wrote, campaigned and spoke on a huge range of issues, and was involved in many of the key aspects of Victorian life, by turns cajoling, moving and irritating. He completed fourteen full-length novels and volume after volume of journalism.