Dickens, Monica


Monica Dickens, the great granddaughter of Charles Dickens, published Mariana in 1940 when she was only twenty-four years old. A bestseller in its time, Mariana is the often-comical story of a typical English girl growing up in the 1930s.

A lively young woman who has no idea what to do with her life, Mary is often at loose but happy ends: going to school and vacationing in Kensington; a hilarious failed attempt at drama school; a year in Paris learning dressmaking and getting engaged to the wrong man; and finally her romance with the right man.

They nearly all had short hair. She wondered whether they had gone through these pangs before they bobbed it, or whether their husbands had laughingly clapped a basin over their heads one fine Putney day and run a pair of scissors round as casually as they would trim a garden hedge.

Monica Dickens was born in London in 1915. Her father was Henry Charles Dickens, the eighth son of Charles Dickens. She was an active humanitarian and is the author of numerous novels and children’s books. Despite her privileged upbringing, Dickens volunteered in the service and worked in an aircraft factory repairing Spitfire fighters. This, and her work as a cook and servant, informed much of her writing.

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