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Charles Dickens and Georgina Hogarth : A Curious and Enduring Relationship

Charles Dickens and Georgina Hogarth : A Curious and Enduring Relationship

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Charles Dickens called his sister-in-law Georgina Hogarth his 'best and truest friend'. Georgina saw Dickens as much more than a friend. They lived together for twenty-eight years, during which time their relationship constantly changed. The sister of his wife Catherine, the sharp and witty Georgina moved into the Dickens home aged fifteen. What began as a father-daughter relationship blossomed into a genuine rapport, but their easy relations were fractured when Dickens had a mid-life crisis and determined to rid himself of Catherine. Georgina's refusal to leave Dickens and his desire for her to remain in his household led to rumours of an affair and even illegitimate children. He left her the equivalent of almost GBP1 million and all his personal papers in his will. Georgina's commitment to Dickens was unwavering but it is far from clear what he did to deserve such loyalty. There were several occasions when he misused her in order to protect his public reputation. Why did Georgina betray her once much-loved sister? Why did she fall out with her family and risk her reputation in order to stay with Dickens? And why did the Dickenses' daughter Katey say it was 'the greatest mistake ever' to invite a sister-in-law to live with a family? -- .

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Author/s: Skelton, Christine

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