Affairs of the Heart

Here Charles writes that ‘Wilkie’s affairs defy all prediction’. Wilkie challenged the construct of marriage. He lived, unmarried, with Caroline Graves for over 10 years and later had a child with Martha Rudd, also outside of marriage.  Despite the breakdown of Charles’s own marriage and his relationship with Ellen Ternan, he perhaps felt Wilkie’s relationships were too liberal and dismissive of the social standards and norms of the time.

Letter, from Charles Dickens to Georgina Hogarth, 29 October 1868

A221 © Charles Dickens Museum

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