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Professor Michael Eaton is ascreenwriter, specialising in docudrama such asShipman and Who Bombed Lockerbie? His fictional works include Flowers of the Forest. He is curating the BFI’s 2012 Dickens on Film retrospective.
Charles Dickens's Fagin is one of the most infamous Jewish characters in world literature. Cunning, manipulative and ruthless, Fagin has become synonymous with 19th Century London's low life and organised street crime. Fagin the Jew has divided readers and critics since Dickens’ novel was first published in 1836. The history of this character in text, on stage and on film was discussed by Dickens experts in this multi-media panel discussion. Why did Dickens delete all references to Fagin's Jewishness in later editions of the text?