There’s so much to explore in the world of Oliver Twist. You might want to listen to a reading of the book; or perhaps watch one of the many adaptations on film. How about exploring the story from a different character’s point of view? Or learning more about Dickens himself—from the workhouse that was near his home to his travels in America. Your library has many journeys waiting for you.
by Charles Dickens
Don’t read this book – listen to it – and be sure to choose the audiobook read by the incomparable, award-winning Nadia May. Available as eAudio or on CD.
This 1948 film by David Lean was controversial for Alec Guinness’ portrayal of Fagin but the most recent release includes the previously censored bits of the movie. At your library, you can also check out other adaptations, including the 2005 film directed by Roman Polanski and starring Ben Kingsley.
Fagin the Jew
by Will Eisner
Prolific, acclaimed graphic novelist Will Eisner tells the story of Oliver Twist from the perspective of Fagin “the Jew.” This version of Fagin is a son of immigrants fleeing pogroms on the Continent; he confronts Dickens for using biased language.
Dickens and the Workhouse: Oliver Twist and the London Poor
by Ruth Richardson
Several years ago when a London workhouse was discovered to be just a few steps from Dickens’ childhood home, the community rallied to protect it from razing. This book details the workhouse’s history and neighborhood, as well as the people who lived there and how they imprinted a young Dickens.
Charles Dickens: Dickens’ Bicentenary, 1812-2012
by Lucinda Hawksley
Dickens’ great-great-great-granddaughter and the Charles Dickens Museum collaborated to compile this illustrated guide to the writer’s life, including removable ephemera such as letters, images, and Dickens’ will and marriage certificate.
Dickens in America
In 1842, Dickens journeyed across the United States and Canada alighting in many cities, including Pittsburgh. Actress Miriam Margolyes retraces his path, shares Dickens’ observations on the people and places he met, and reveals how Dickens was received by Americans.
Charles Dickens: A Life
by Claire Tomalin
Published in 2011, this is the most recent exhaustive biography of the man known as Boz. Enthusiasts also recommend Michael Slater’s 2009 chronicle of Dickens’ life, as well as John Forster’s and Edgar Johnson’s very early biographies.