Charles Dickens and Georgina Hogarth

A curious and enduring relationship

Christine Skelton
Search for other papers by Christine Skelton in
Current site
Google Scholar

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 nearly £1 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?

Abstract only
Log-in for full text
  • Collapse
  • Expand

    • Full book download (HTML)
    • Full book download (PDF with hyperlinks)
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 249 249 70
Full Text Views 102 102 29
PDF Downloads 63 62 15