Bonanza (1959–1973)
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A Passion for Justice 

Famous author Charles Dickens visits the Ponderosa, and finds himself embroiled in controversy.




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Episode cast overview:
Dan Stoker
Sam Walker
Charles Irving ...
Prosceutor Rogers
Jeb (as E.J. Andre)
Don Washbrook ...
Tim the Typesetter
Alice Frost ...
Prominent Townswoman
James Stone ...
Clegg Hoyt ...


At Ben's invitation, Charles Dickens comes to Virginia City to give a reading from "Oliver Twist" while on a reading / lecture tour in America. While there, he stays at the Ponderosa. He becomes enraged by the townsfolk's casual attitude toward distribution of copies of his stories published without protection of copyright laws. After confronting the local newspaper publisher, the newspaper's office is destroyed. Already having lost the esteem of the townsfolk, Dickens now finds that the townsfolk blame him for the violence. Written by Chalres Delacroix

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Release Date:

29 September 1963 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Charles Dickens (portrayed by Jonathan Harris), actually did tour the United States on book reading tours between December 1867-April 1868, however he spent his time in New York and Boston. See more »


Eric 'Hoss' Cartwright: Folks around here judge a man by what he is, not what he was.
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User Reviews

Dickens Visits The Cartwrights
5 August 2010 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Although novelist Charles Dickens did tour America, he never did get as far west as Virginia City so was not in a position to visit the fabled if fictional Ponderosa that Lorne Greene and his sons owned.

Jonathan Harris who was the son of Russian immigrants in the Bronx learned his speech pattern and acting style by imitating the best of the British colony in Hollywood. It certainly worked for many swore he was a native of the UK.

The astringent Dickens is honed to perfection by Harris who gets into a big brouhaha with the townspeople of Virginia City particularly its newspaper editor. Later on he's framed for the trashing of the newspaper office and spends some time in Ray Teal's jail.

What brought all this about was the lack of copyright protection among the nations allowing American publishers to republish Dickens's work without a red cent going to the author. It was an issue that concerned Dickens deeply in his real life as well.

Harris brings off Dickens to perfection in a scene with Dan Blocker where he compares Hoss's love of the Ponderosa to Harris's love and sweat over every printed word. He also talks about his own childhood where much of his story material comes from.

A really fine Bonanza episode with a perfect performance by Jonathan Harris as Charles Dickens.

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