The Definitive Dickens45:58

This article is more than 11 years old.

Charles Dickens is back on the big screen again this season, with a Jim Carrey 3-D version of "A Christmas Carol." Bah humbug, Tiny Tim, and all the rest.

And that’s not the only Dickensian comeback this year. Poverty’s back, too — a staple of the man who knew and drew the poorhouse like no one else in English literature.

Charles Dickens’ own father was imprisoned for debt. Young Dickens, sent into the boot-black factory to work at twelve. He never got over it.

A new biography tells all. This hour, On Point: Dickens master Michael Slater on the life and prodigious work of Charles Dickens.

You can join the conversation. Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.Guest:

Michael Slater is emeritus professor of Victorian literature at Birkbeck College, University of London. He's the past president of both the International Dickens Fellowship and the Dickens Society of America, and former editor of the journal The Dickensian. His acclaimed new biography is "Charles Dickens." Read an excerpt (pdf).

Look into the original manuscript for "A Christmas Carol" (NY Times).

This program aired on December 18, 2009.