Probus Club of Meltham - Meeting 28 January 2015

28 January

The Secret Life of Charles Dickens

Pat Osborne

Today's speaker was Pat Osborne who this time was telling us of "The Secret Life of Charles Dickens".
We learned that he was one of 8 children born to a poor family which was always struggling with debt. His family spent some time in Debtors Prison and young Charles worked in a blacking factory at the age of 12, his elder sister Fanny graduated at a music academy and Charles managed to learn shorthand and become a reporter.
His fortunes improved and he became something of a dandy and took a wife.
All these experiences influenced his writing and his books were tremendously popular.
He took to acting and directing and whilst in Manchester hearing auditions, he encountered Nellie who was to become his mistress. He kept this from his adoring public but treated his wife abominably, building a wall in his bedroom for his mistress on the other side. Nellie went to France for four years and came back with a child that later died.
Charles continued touring the world with his readings, returning to England worn out and shortly after died of a stroke in 1870.

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