Synopses & Reviews
Coming to PBS in March 2009-a MasterpieceTM Classic production of Charles Dickens's Little Dorrit
Charles Dickens 's great satire on poverty, riches, and imprisonment, Little Dorrit is the story of Arthur Clennam, a man whose kindly interest in Amy Dorrit, his mother's seamstress, assures him nothing but trouble. Her father, William Dorrit, a man of shabby grandeur, has long been imprisoned for debt in the Marshalsea. A masterly evocation of the state and psychology of imprisonment, Little Dorrit is a supreme work of Dickens's maturity.
""Thirty years ago there stood . . . in the borough of Southwark . . . the Marshalsea Prison. It had stood there many years before, and it remained there some years afterwards; but it is gone now, and the world is none the worse without it."" -- Charles Dickens, Little Dorrit
Amy Dorrit's father is not very good with money. She was born in the Marshalsea debtors' prison and has lived there with her family for all of her twenty-two years, only leaving during the day to work as a seamstress for the forbidding Mrs. Clennam. But Amy's fortunes are about to change: the arrival of Mrs. Clennam's son Arthur, back from working in China, heralds the beginning of stunning revelations not just about Amy but also about Arthur himself.
About the Author
Charles Dickens was born on February 7, 1812, in Landport, Portsea, England. He died in Kent on June 9, 1870. The second of eight children of a family continually plagued by debt, the young Dickens came to know not only hunger and privation,but also the horror of the infamous debtorsand#8217; prison and the evils of child labor. A turn of fortune in the shape of a legacy brought release from the nightmare of prison and and#8220;slaveand#8221; factories and afforded Dickens the opportunity of two yearsand#8217; formal schooling at Wellington House Academy. He worked as an attorneyand#8217;s clerk and newspaper reporter until his Sketches by Boz (1836) and The Pickwick Papers (1837) brought him the amazing and instant success that was to be his for the remainder of his life. In later years, the pressure of serial writing, editorial duties, lectures, and social commitments led to his separation from Catherine Hogarth after twenty-three years of marriage. It also hastened his death at the age of fifty-eight, when he was characteristically engaged in a multitude of work.