As refugee crisis expands in Iraq, Israel Palestine amid restless ceasefire, I bike to the Cut to watch The Invisible Woman, Ralph Fiennes directing and staring as Dickens. What I recall is not the plot but the opening scenes, of life before Facebook and TV, where in darkened rooms, enlightened by warm gas light (no white walls or uplighters), people gathered around a piano and all partook of games and their own entertainment. How insular we are, I am. I sit up in my bed, listening to book at bedtime. Where are those delightful sisters, singing together. I liked Wilki Collins, and his disbelief in marriage.
Dickens comes off badly. A famous peacock, extrovert, Alpha male. Sending his wife to deliver the mis directed gift, a birthday gift for the woman he loves, (Remember the phone call from Hilary?), his public self-justification was most uncomfortable, which she sensibly chastises him for.