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BookBuffet Partners With WGBH, Boston a Public Broadcasting Station


WGBH in Boston is the public television network that has provided outstanding programing for over 35 years. They're the folks who bring us, among other incredible programing, the series Masterpiece, which features the finest classic and contemporary works interpreted by the world's foremost actors. For years Masterpiece Theatre was hosted by the late and beloved Alistair Cooke. This January-May 2009 WGBH is airing a new series of films, adapted from four works of the classic Victorian novelist, Charles Dickens. It has been ten years since the last Dickens series was produced by Masterpiece. It featured such luminary actors as: Charlotte Rampling, Ian McKellen, Maggie Smith, Bob Hoskins, and HARRY POTTER's Daniel Radcliffe. WGBH's educational outreach department contacted BookBuffet to help promote the 2009 series to our members, as part of their Book & Film Club.

"This is a fabulous opportunity for BookBuffet members who are already familiar with our "books to film" feature articles to get a head start on reading or re-reading the most classic of all British authors - Dickens," says BookBuffet Founder, Paula Shackleton. "I'm dying to see who is cast in the new series, and who produces and directs it," she adds. BookBuffet members who join will receive a compliment of resource information to go with the series and a chance to discuss it online. In addition, BookBuffet will be producing our own podcast series interviewing people associated with the production and distribution, and our own book group pages. Here's how you can participate...


November 11, 2008
— &linkCodeBrowse through the Masterpiece website Check out the Book & Film Club website Resources will be available February 1, 2009.
In the meanwhile, join BookBuffet's own "Masterpiece Book To Film Group."

  • On the BookBuffet website home page, click: Register
  • Select: Invited to join an existing group.
  • Type: Masterpiece Book To Film Group
  • Then type your own member details. That's it!

You will see the "current book" posted on the group calendar, as well as the dates the series airs on television. You'll be on the member list and receive email updates on new content such as podcasts and WGBH material. You'll also be able to chat on the online forum for this group. JOIN TODAY

Masterpiece and BookBuffet

It all begins in mid-February with Oliver Twist, followed by David Copperfield, LIttle Dorrit and The Old Curiosity Shop.

Charles Dickens (1812–1870), born one of eight children in Portsmouth, England, grew up in poverty and had little formal education, yet became the most prominent and revered of all English Victorian writers, as well as a political reporter and journalist.

Get Started by purchasing the entire collection of books via the links below (to take advantage of free shipping). We prefer the Penguin editions - just because. Join the BookBuffet "Masterpiece Book To Film Group" Refer to the upcoming reader resources, which you'll receive when you join this group, and mark your calendar for the dates and times to view Masterpiece Theatre in your region.

The Titles

Oliver Twist (Penguin Classics): Oliver Twist was Dickens's second novel and one of his darkest, dealing with burglary, kidnapping, child abuse, prostitution, and murder. Alongside this gallery of horrors are the corrupt and incompetent institutions of 19th-century England set up to address social problems and instead making them worse. The author's moral indignation drives the creation of some of his most memorably grotesque characters: squirming, vile Fagin; brutal Bill Sykes; the brooding, sickly Monks; and Bumble, the pompous and incorrigibly dense beadle. Clearly, a reading of this work must carry the author's passionate narrative voice while being flexible and broad enough to define the wide range of character voices suggested by the text.

    David Copperfield (Penguin Classics)
    David Copperfield is the story of a young man’s adventures on his journey from an unhappy and impoverished childhood to the discovery of his vocation as a successful novelist. Among the gloriously vivid cast of characters he encounters are his tyrannical stepfather, Mr. Murdstone; his formidable aunt, Betsey Trotwood; the eternally humble yet treacherous Uriah Heep; frivolous, enchanting Dora; and the magnificently impecunious Micawber, one of literature’s great comic creations. In David Copperfield—the novel he described as his “favorite child”—Dickens drew revealingly on his own experiences to create one of his most exuberant and enduringly popular works, filled with tragedy and comedy in equal measure.

    Little Dorrit (Penguin Classics): When Arthur Clennam returns to England after many years abroad, he takes a kindly interest in Amy Dorrit, his mother’s seamstress, and in the affairs of Amy’s father, William Dorrit, a man of shabby grandeur, long imprisoned for debt in the Marshalsea. As Arthur soon discovers, the dark shadow of the prison stretches far beyond its walls to affect the lives of many, from the kindly Mr. Pancks, the reluctant rent-collector of Bleeding Heart Yard, and the tipsily garrulous Flora Finching, to Merdle, an unscrupulous financier, and the bureaucratic Barnacles in the Circumlocution Office. A masterly evocation of the state and psychology of imprisonment, Little Dorrit is one of the supreme works of Dickens’s maturity.

    The Old Curiosity Shop (Penguin Classics): The Old Curiosity Shop appeared in 1840-1841 in monthly installments in a magazine edited by the young Charles Dickens (1812-1870).The novel was an instant success winning the author of "The Pickwick Papers" and "Oliver Twist" great fame and riches. The long novel deals with Little Nell Trent. She lives in the Old Curiostiy Shop with her grandfather. He is an alcoholic old man who is weak and has a dangerous gambling addiction. Due to this vice he loses his shop which is taken over by the evil dwarf Quilp. Quilp delights in evil and is one of Dickens most malevolently grotesque creations. Nell and her grandfather flee London encountering many adventures and meet many characters on their peregrinations throughout England. Among the most interesting characters are the kindly schoolmaster who befriends the hapless pair; Mrs. Jarley who owns a waxworks employing in a time of dire need and the old church sexton who shares advice on eternity with Nell. —Reviews from Amazon

    DVD's To Whet Your Appetite

    Oliver Twist (Masterpiece Theatre, 1999)
    Great Expectations (Masterpiece Theatre, 1999)
    A Tale of Two Cities (Masterpiece Theatre, 1989)



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