Thursday, 19 June 2008

Keeping Up Appearances

I watched a documentary the other night about the author, Charles Dickens' secret affair with a young woman, "Nelly" whom he met when she was a teenager. Dickens was torn between his moral beliefs about family and society that he portray in his books and following his heart. While the affair continued, Dickens had to take on assumed names and travel up and down the country to be with his true love. Nelly had to live the life of a recluse so they could continue their affair. They had one child but the child died in infancy. The affair went on for 13 years until Dickens' death.

After Dickens died, Nelly erased those 13 years from her life by passing herself off as an 18 year old when she met and eventually married her husband and had a family. Apparently neither her husband nor her kids knew her real age or about her former life.

I thought it was an extraordinary story, particularly the part where Nelly reinvented herself.

Why stay with someone because of what society might think when you can be with someone you truly love?

Good for Nelly!


Related articles: And Why Not?; Are You a Gutless Wonder?