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Tour Charles Dickens' London with actor Simon Callow

February 7, 2012 |  9:02 pm

Ian Dickens, great-great-grandson of Charles, talks with actor Simon Callow
Simon Callow knows his way around the classics. Formerly a stalwart of the London stage (the Old Vic), he went on to roles in film adaptations of E.M. Forster's "A Room With a View" and "Howard's End," was Tilney, the master of revels, in the Oscar-winning "Shakespeare in Love," and played a popular character in that classic of romantic comedy, "Four Weddings and a Funeral."

Callow is singularly qualified to take on a giant of 19th century classics, Charles Dickens, who was born 200 years ago Tuesday. Callow has played Dickens in several British TV movies, and reprised the role on two episodes of "Doctor Who."

In this video for the Guardian newspaper, Callow takes viewers on a tour of Dickens' London, from a factory and a warehouse where he was a child laborer, to the offices of his magazine All the Year Round.

"It's remarkable how much of it remains intact," Callow says.



Happy 200th birthday, Charles Dickens!

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-- Kelly Scott

Above: Ian Dickens, left, great-great-grandson of Charles, talks with actor Simon Callow outside the writer's birthplace Tuesday in Portsmouth, England. Credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images