Georgina Hogarth was the sister-in-law, housekeeper and adviser of Charles Dickens and the editor of two volumes of his collected letters after his death. She was a trusted companion and confidant who Dickens described (in his will) as ‘the best and truest friend man ever had‘.
Georgina Hogarth was born on 22 January 1827, one of ten children born in Scotland to music critic George Hogarth and his wife Georgina.
In 1834 she moved along with her family to London where her father had taken a job as a music critic for the The Morning Chronicle. The family lived at Queen’s Elm, Brompton, then a rural area of orchards and market gardens on the fringes of the city.
Dickens family household.
In 1842, aged 15, Georgina Hogarth joined the Dickens family household when Dickens and his wife Catherine, sailed to America, caring for the young family they had left behind.
Dickens divorce from Catherine.
In 1858 Georgina Hogarth sided with Dickens when he separated from her sister, Catherine, Dickens’s wife. This caused the family to break apart. Georgina, Charles Dickens and all of the children except Charles Dickens, Jr. remained in their home at Tavistock House, while Catherine and Charles Jr. moved out. Georgina Hogarth ran his household.
She remained with them as housekeeper, organiser, adviser and friend until her brother-in-law’s death in 1870, after which she stayed in regular contact with the surviving members of the Dickens family.
Georgina Hogarth died on 19 April 1917.