"God save us from people who assume! Anyway, to cut a long story short (which is not my usual custom, I admit) I told my wife it was common practice for writers to give gifts to their cast members. As you may imagine, my wife went into a rage. She says I sometimes make her want to scream. So let her scream away. It opens the lungs, washes the countenance, exercises the eyes and softens down the temper – so, let her scream away!"
There were always rumours circulating about Dickens – rumours about his liaisons with young and pretty actresses. He is said to have fathered illegitimate children with his sister-in-law, Georgina Hogarth, who was supposed to have born him three children at least.
And then there is the question of Ellen Ternan. A young actress of whom he was very fond, hence the reference to the broken bracelet above. Dickens had known Miss Ternan since she was eighteen. Her mother and she would accompany him on many excursions. They were both made welcome in his household. And as for Miss Ternan’s own mother, Dickens was supposed to have been servicing both ladies at the same time!!
But enough of courseness – Dickens is clearly to be congratulated. Not only did he find time for all this rutting, but he was also to manage to produce more words on more pages than any writer past, present or future. However, writing fiction can be a lonely occupation, whereas working on the stage with a company of actors….
But we should continue. 'Tis time to bring in the bottled lightning, a clean tumbler and a corkscrew.So fan the sinking flame of hilarity with the wing of friendship and pass the rosy wine!