Charles Dickens had a long-held fascination with America. His substantial journey there in 1842 culminated in the book American Notes - a comic, critical and satirical recording of the country's manners, morals, flaws and fashions. Acclaimed actress and Dickens enthusiast Miriam Margolyes follows his tracks to tell the story of Dickens' passionate and controversial relationship with North America. From The White House to West Point, Dickens visited and wrote about American life, money and manners, press and prisons, slavery, corruption, greed, politics and religion. Margolyes takes the 4,000-mile odyssey to find out how much - and how little - has changed in North America in the intervening years. Her adventure takes her across the Atlantic to New York on the Queen Mary 2. She then follows Dickens' route from state prisons to city courtrooms; from the tobacco plantations of the south, via the last of the great Mississippi river boats to Dickens-themed tea parties in New England. After many fascinating encounters, she arrives in Philadelphia to find a city unnaturally obsessed with the great author, before crossing the border to meet Canadian Victoriana collectors. Finally, she returns to New York to perform part of her adventure for an audience at the Lincoln Centre. Interspersing history, travelogue and interviews, 'Dickens in America' offers a fascinating and witty insight into Dickens' love-hate relationship with North America and paints a personal and revealing portrait of modern-day USA.