Dickens's troubled relationship with his father is featured in a new BBC4 documentary about fathers in fiction. Novelist and filmmaker Andrew Martin explains,
The one standard Victorian patriarch in Dickens is Dombey in Dombey and Son, and his rigidity has calamitous results. Closer to the norm for Dickens are William Dorrit and Mr Micawber, self-regarding, impecunious men, prone to hysteria and immature compared with the young people around them. They are modelled on Dickens's father, John, who sponged off his son and was a source of constant exasperation. Dickens once wrote of his father: "How slow he is growing to be a man."
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