Girl in A Blue Dress

Girl in A Blue Dress

Book - 2008
Average Rating:
1
Rate this:
At the end of her life, Catherine, the cast-off wife of Charles Dickens, gave the letters she had received from her husband to their daughter Kate, asking her to donate them to the British Museum, "so the world may know that he loved me once." The incredible vulnerability and heartache evident beneath the surface of this remark inspired Gaynor Arnold to write Girl in a Blue Dress , a dazzling debut novel inspired by the life of this tragic yet devoted woman. Arnold brings the spirit of Catherine Dickens to life in the form of Dorothea "Dodo" Gibson-a woman who is doomed to live in the shadow of her husband, Alfred, the most celebrated author in the Victorian world.

The story opens on the day of Alfred's funeral. Dorothea is not among the throngs in attendance when The One and Only is laid to rest. Her mourning must take place within the walls of her modest apartment, a parting gift from Alfred as he ushered her out of their shared home and his life more than a decade earlier. Even her own children, save her outspoken daughter Kitty, are not there to offer her comfort-they were poisoned against her when Alfred publicly declared her an unfit wife and mother. Though she refuses to don the proper mourning attire, Dodo cannot bring herself to demonize her late husband, something that comes all too easily to Kitty.

Instead, she reflects on their time together-their clandestine and passionate courtship, when he was a force of nature and she a willing follower; and the salad days of their marriage, before too many children sapped her vitality and his interest. She uncovers the frighteningly hypnotic power of the celebrity author she married. Now liberated from his hold on her, Dodo finds the courage to face her adult children, the sister who betrayed her, and the charming actress who claimed her husband's love and left her heart aching.

A sweeping tale of love and loss that was long-listed for both the Man Booker Prize and the Orange Prize, Girl in a Blue Dress is both an intimate peek at the woman who was behind one of literature's most esteemed men and a fascinating rumination on marriage that will resonate across centuries.


From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: Birmingham [England] : Tindal Street Press, 2008
ISBN: 9780307462268
9780955647611
0955647614
Branch Call Number: F Arn

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

f
finn75
Sep 15, 2013

I really enjoyed this fictional account of the inner workings of the Dickens family. Catherine Dickens or Dorothea Gibson as she is known in this book is an enigma. A woman belittled and put aside by her famous husband and separated from her children but why? It seems unbelievable in this day and age but it did happen and this book richly brings to life that era and those personalities. Worth a read.

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at PPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top