I did not know that Charles Dickens ditched his wife of a gazillion years, the mother of his ten kids, for an 18 year old actress called Ellen Ternan. While this would be gleeful tabloid fodder in 2014 (if not the cause of something of a spectacular Max Clifford-esque fall from grace), in the Victorian era, it was shrugged off with a hodgepodge of lies and, well yes, enforced invisibility for the poor girl.


Ralph Fiennes’s intimate portrait of the odd couple is a lovely, sumptuous period piece but I didn’t like it much – not for its adultery, not for its glum Victorian hypocrisy, but especially not for the perplexing, sulky, sour-faced, dullness of Miss Nelly, the teen-not-bride. She’s played here (by Felicity Jones) as so utterly grim and relentlessly gloomy, that I didn’t really get into it, to be honest.