We all know of the life and work of Charles Dickens, in fact two of my all time favorite novels Great Expectations and David Copperfield are the works of Dickens, born in 1812 in England.
Through out his very public life Dickens carefully crafted his persona as a gentile man of the Victorian era with a wife, family and a marvelous talent to create fictional characters and stories that would endure.
“Dickens is remembered as one of the most important and influential writers of the 19th century. Among his accomplishments, he has been lauded for providing a stark portrait of the Victorian-era underclass, helping to bring about social change.” – Biography.com
Front and center during his entire life as a man of virtue – Dickens was leading a double life for more than a decade, as he had a love affair with Ellen “Nelly” Ternen for the last thirteen years of his life.
With tenacious persistence Dickens and those closest to him managed to efface Nelly Ternen from public record and most all association with Dickens.
But talented biographer Claire Tomalin sleuths the facts like a well-heeled detective and brings convincing evidence to light about Nelly Ternen’s life, Dickens’ deception and how their affair managed to escape the public’s notice for decades.
A remarkable tale of both Victorian life for men and women as well as a brilliant story of research and persistence.
Four stars for The Invisible Woman by Claire Tomalin. Read last week’s review of A Place Called Freedom by Ken Follett.
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