A great piece from BBC News: Charles Dickens: Six things he gave the modern world. Every fiction writer should read this, and then get to work reading and learning from Dickens himself. One of the six things: Modern cinema.
While everyone from Gwyneth Paltrow to Miss Piggy has taken a role in a film adaptation of Dickens's work, many argue that he was as instrumental in creating the conventions of cinema as he was for inspiring the content itself.
Russian film director and theorist Sergei Eisenstein said that important aspects of cinema were created by the influence of Dickens on pioneering film director DW Griffith.
He argued that Dickens invented, among other things, the parallel montage - where two stories run alongside each other - and the close-up.
"The idea that Dickens invented cinema is obviously nonsensical but he was a key and important influence in its development," says Prof Graeme Smith, who wrote Dickens and the Dream of Cinema. "Once film arrived, his work inspired an extraordinary amount of early cinema."
The BFI says that there were around 100 versions of Dickens's work recreated in film in the silent era alone. And those adaptations continue to this day.
Reading Dickens as a grad student long ago, I kept thinking what a moviemaker he would have made. But then he was also technically brilliant as a storyteller; Bleak House, written in the 1850s, is still in many ways an avant-garde novel. And as the BBC story points out, he was also hysterically funny.