Katey: The Life and Loves of Dickens's Artist Daughter

Katey: The Life and Loves of Dickens's Artist Daughter

by Lucinda Hawksley
     
 

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The intimate biography of Charles Dickens’s daughter, the artist Kate Perugini, written by his great-great-great-granddaughter.

Katey Dickens was a nineteenth-century artist and socialite, and the beautiful daughter of Charles Dickens. In this illuminating biography, Lucinda Hawksley, herself a direct descendant of the great novelist, recreates the life of an

Overview

The intimate biography of Charles Dickens’s daughter, the artist Kate Perugini, written by his great-great-great-granddaughter.

Katey Dickens was a nineteenth-century artist and socialite, and the beautiful daughter of Charles Dickens. In this illuminating biography, Lucinda Hawksley, herself a direct descendant of the great novelist, recreates the life of an extraordinarily determined girl who defied Victorian convention to live and love as an independent woman.

Blessed with a privileged upbringing, Katey Dickens pursued her love of painting, acted in her father’s plays, modeled for John Everett Millais and enjoyed a high profile in society thanks to her famous father. Yet she refused to be eclipsed by her father and fought to establish herself as an artist in her own right.

Katey was driven to marry young by a turbulent family life, and following a sexless yet companionable marriage with Charlie Collins, brother of the famous author Wilkie Collins, she fell in love with and married the handsome Italian artist Carlo Perugini.

Despite finding happiness with Perugini, Katey was prone to deep depression, particularly following the deaths of her father and baby. Yet she continued to pursue her career as a painter while also championing Charles Dickens’s works and befriending such eminent figures as J.M. Barrie and George Bernard Shaw.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

From 1877, when Kate Perugini was accepted to exhibit at the Royal Academy of London, to 1893, when she exhibited a total of nine paintings at several prestigious venues, Kate achieved recognition as a respected and successful artist. Today, however, she is largely unknown outside of the realm of ardent Charles Dickens admirers and art history students. One of Hawksley's (Lizzie Siddal: Face of the Pre-Raphaelites) goals with this biography is to "bring Kate into...her recognized place in the history of British art." Unfortunately, Hawksley here devotes as much space to Kate's father, famed novelist Charles Dickens, as to Kate. That said, it is certainly understandable: Hawksley is herself a Dickens descendant. Because Kate destroyed many of her personal letters and documents, Hawksley's informal narrative relies heavily on the letters of family members and friends, and these sources allow her to present Kate sympathetically as an intelligent woman, a gifted artist, and a dutiful daughter and wife. All the while, her interest in the entire Dickens family and her unique perspective on that family are apparent. The inclusion of references would have been a valuable addition. Recommended for public libraries.
—Kathryn R. Bartelt

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780552151511
Publisher:
Transworld Publishers Limited
Publication date:
04/28/2008
Pages:
496
Product dimensions:
5.12(w) x 7.83(h) x 1.30(d)

Meet the Author

Lucinda Hawksley is the author of the acclaimed Lizzie Siddall: The Tragedy of a Pre-Raphaelite Supermodel. She organized and curated an exhibition of Kate Perugini’s paintings in 2002 at the Dickens House Museum.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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