Charles Dickens: The India connection



Amazing but true, the original of Dickens’ haunting character Miss Havisham in Great Expectations had a connection with India, lived here for a while in fact, as we discover from Angus Calder’s Gods Mongrels and Demons — 101 Brief But Essential Lives.

According to the entry in Gods..., Eliza Emily Donnithorne (1826?-1886) was born at the Cape of Good Hope, the daughter of an Englishman who served the East India Company, and became a judge and senior merchant in Mysore. He migrated to Sydney in 1836, lived well and hospitably, and died in 1852, “predeceased by his wife, survived by two sons who had entered the British Army and by Eliza, who inherited most of his estate and the family mansion, Cambridge Hall, in the suburb of Newtown.”

Eliza is none other than Miss Havisham. Courtsey: Mumbai Mirror
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