Charles Dickens and Nelly Ternan met in 1857; she was 18, a hard-working actress performing in his production of The Frozen Deep, and he was 45, the most lionized writer in England. Out of their meeting came a love affair that lasted thirteen years and destroyed Dickens's marriage while effacing Nelly Ternan from the public record.In this remarkable work of biography and scholarly reconstruction, the acclaimed biographer of Mary Wollstonecraft, Thomas Hardy, Samuel Pepys and Jane Austen rescues Nelly from the shadows of history, not only returning the neglected actress to her rightful place, but also providing a compelling portrait of the great Victorian novelist himself. The result is a thrilling literary detective story and a deeply compassionate work that encompasses all those women who were exiled from the warm, well-lighted parlors of Victorian England.
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by Claire Harman
by Claire Messud
by Margot Peters
by Roxanne St. Claire
by Claire A. Nivola
by Noel Riley Fitch
by Giorgio Vasari
by Claire Tomalin
by Frank McCourt
"Dickens was a revered author in his own time, and his decade-long extramarital affair did not fit into his public image. The fact that his paramour, Nelly Ternan, was a former actress, a profession that was considered low class, was also a problem, so the relationship was kept out of the public eye. Wanda McCaddon gives an engaging narration as author Tomalin pieces together the story of the relationship through references in letters and other sources. A particular challenge--which McCaddon meets admirably--are the cryptic entries in Dickens's diary. It's disappointing that listeners don't have access to the helpful maps of London, illustrations, and notes that appear in the print edition. J.E.M. (c) AudioFile 2013, Portland, Maine"
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