Mrs Dickens’s Family Christmas – 20 December 2020 – 20/12/2020 – Sunday – BBC Four

Looking at the marriage of Charles Dickens through the eyes of his wife Catherine, Sue Perkins exposes the lesser known reality of the Dickens family Christmas – very different from the heart-warming versions he presented in A Christmas Carol.

Sue turns her attention to the woman behind the man, revealing parallels between the female characters he created and his changing affections for his wife, namely, in Dickens’s mind, her transition from innocent virgin to middle-aged frump.

Scrutinising Dickens’s public defence in a national newspaper of his treatment toward Catherine, Sue seeks to set the record straight, promulgating her unconditional love for Dickens and support for his career.

Along the way, she has plenty of laughs, evokes the realities of Victorian marriage, interviews many of today’s leading biographers of Mr and Mrs Dickens, explores Charles’s role in creating Christmas as we know it – and gets to make a twelfth night cake.

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This show is broadcast on BBC Four, also known as the British Broadcasting Corporation.

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