The Great Charles Dickens Scandal

Congratulations to Prof. Michael Slater, Emeritus Professor of Victorian Literature at Birkbeck, on his new book, The Great Charles Dickens Scandal (Yale University Press). The book is about the affair Dickens may have had with the young actress Ellen (Nelly) Ternan, the ensuing coverup, and elaboration of the scandal when nobody remained alive authoritatively to deny the rumours. Among material used for the volume was Senate House Library’s MS1003, the Katharine Longley papers: namely, nineteen boxes of material collected and produced by Katharine Longley while she researched the lives of Charles Dickens and Ellen Ternan. Also relevant was MS915, the Ternan Family papers. Material ranges from correspondence to an elegy upon the death of Mamie Dickens’s dog, Tit. We contributed to the 2012 celebrations with an exhibition; it’s satisfying to contribute to research with a lasting impact too.

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