The act of reading ... begins on a flat surface, counter or page, and then gets stirred and chopped and blended until what we make, in the end, is a dish, or story, all our own.
— Adam Gopnik
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April 16, 2012

Dickens in America

Oh, this was fun,  If you want to spend an unusual and wonderful couple of hours with Charles Dickens during this birthday year, see if your library (or Netflix?) has the DVD of the BBC series Dickens in America.  In it,  British actress Miriam Margolyes retraces Dickens' first trip to America in 1841, beginning here in Boston, and going on to New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C., Virginia, along the Ohio River to St, Louis, and through Niagara Falls into Canada. I didn't know who she was before I watched this, but the back of the box told me that she was Professor Sprout in the Harry Potter movies and that she won an Oscar for The Age of Innocence.  Then I recognized her! - she was Mrs. Manson Mingott.

She does many of the things that Dickens did {visiting hospitals and prisons, even being Mesmerized), quoting the things he wrote about them and wondering what other thoughts he would have had.  The commentary is intelligent, interesting, and very often funny.  When she sees this portrait of Dickens, painted during this trip, she decides that he looks like a 'big girl's blouse' {you can have the fun for yourself of figuring out what that means}.


FleurFisher said...

However did I miss this?! I'm off to look for a copy, post haste!

JoAnn said...

It's not available through Netflix or my library, but I'll keep checking...

Thank you for visiting!

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