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The Hoydens and Mr. Dickens

The Strange Affair of the Feminist Phantom

by William J. Palmer Editor · Wilkie Collins Contributor


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Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins reveal the darker side of Victorian London—and a killer's identity—in this "well-crafted adventure" (Publishers Weekly).

Charles Dickens is smitten with Ellen Ternan, a teenage actress, and heads to the country to retrieve her from the home for fallen women run by Angela Burdett-Coutts—who also owns one of England's largest banks and has recently received an anonymous threatening note.

Back in London, Dickens and his fellow writer Wilkie Collins give the note to Inspector Field. But more urgent worries are to come. Both men's paramours—the actress as well as a former prostitute—have been attending Women's Emancipation Society meetings. When a young feminist is found fatally strangled at the scene of a robbery at Coutts Bank, Ellen, whose scarf was the murder weapon, is arrested. And it is up to Dickens to clear her name—hopefully without sullying his own, since at the time of the killing, the two were together in a hotel room . . .

"The story offers not only a mystery but also a look at some of the more prurient aspects of nineteenth-century London society . . . Atmospheric and cunningly plotted . . . Absorbing." —Booklist

Publication Details

Diversion Books
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