Mary "Mamie" Dickens was the eldest daughter of the English novelist Charles Dickens and his wife Catherine. She wrote a book of reminiscences about her father, and in conjunction with her aunt, Georgina Hogarth, she edited the first collection of his letters.
Mamie Dickens was born at the family home in Doughty Street in London and was named after her maternal aunt Mary Hogarth, who had died in 1837. Her godfather was John Forster, her father's friend and later biographer. Mary was nicknamed "Mild Glo'ster" by her father. In December 1839 the Dickens family moved from 48 Doughty Street to 1 Devonshire Terrace.
After her father's death she lived with her brother Henry Dickens and her aunt, Georgina Hogarth; In his will her father had written, "I give the sum of £1,000 free of legacy duty to my daughter Mary Dickens. I also give to my said daughter an annuity of £300 a year, during her life, if she shall so long continue unmarried; such annuity to be considered as accruing from day to day, but to be payable half yearly, the first of such half yearly payments to be made at the expiration of six months next after my decease."
Georgina Hogarth found living with Mary difficult, complaining that she was drinking too much. With her aunt she edited two volumes of Dickens's letters, which were published in 1880. Later she seems to have embarrassed or angered her family, who largely cut themselves off from her.
Much of her life after her father's death in 1870 remains unknown, but after leaving her aunt's she lived for a period with a clergyman and his wife, Mr and Mrs Hargreaves, in Manchester, a "scandal" which was kept a secret by her family. Later she lived alone in the country. Mary Dickens went on to write Charles Dickens By His Eldest Daughter and My Father As I Recall Him which was posthumously published and edited by her sister, Katey.
Books by Mamie Dickens
"If, in these pages, written in remembrance of my father, I should tell you, my dear friends, nothing new of him, I can, at least, promise you that what I shall tell will be told faithfully, if simply, and perhaps there may be some things not familia...