bookish public, your primary attention,
hopeful writers sought special mention;
ignored children craved your affection.
family theatricals, picnics arranged,
numerous frolics, walks long-ranged;
your sly heart hardened, changed.
kind wife catered, insatiable needs:
total control, imperious greed;
a woman waited: marriage misdeeds.
where now solid Victorian virtue?
moral compass wrong, ethics askew;
exiled wife, mistress out of view.
happy families, publicly portrayed;
privately, great expectations dismayed,
exacting home rules, family afraid.
why publicly repudiated, unloved wife?
why shame family with acidic strife?
elephantine ego destroyed family life…
newspaper obituaries rushed to bless,
celebrated author of much distress;
fallible father – rarely said ‘yes’.
image: Robert William Buss (4 August 1804 – 26 February 1875) Victorian artist, etcher and illustrator, perhaps best known for his painting Dickens’ Dream.
written after watching the movie: The Invisible Woman
see also: Daddy Issues: On the Worthless Brood of Charles Dickens By Emily Witt
Daddy Issues: On the Worthless Brood of Charles Dickens