Mary Scott Hogarth

Mary Scott Hogarth

Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh, Scotland
Death 7 May 1837 (aged 17)
Holborn, London Borough of Camden, Greater London, England
Burial Kensal Green, London Borough of Brent, Greater London, England
Memorial ID 9366 · View Source
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Author's Inspiration. She received notoriety as the inspiration for several characters for noted Victorian English author Charles Dickens, who was her brother-in-law. Her sudden death at the age of seventeen was an emotional anguish for Dickens, thus grieving this overwhelming loss for years. As the younger sister of Dickens' wife, Catherine, she met the author when she was fourteen years old. After the couple married, she lived with them for about two years. She became a close companion of Dickens, and he valued her opinions on his writings more than anyone else. A beautiful, sweet young lady, her health was fragile for over a year. Being seriously ill for less than a day after collapsing, she died suddenly at the age of seventeen. It has been speculated that she had an undiagnosed cardiac problem. She died in Dickens' arms. After her death, a ring was removed from her finger by Dickens and worn by him in her memory the rest of his life. He also kept a lock of her hair. Her untimely death brought the Dickens' household to a standstill causing him to miss the publication dates for two novels: “The Pickwick Papers” and “Oliver Twist.” This was the only time that he missed a publication date. Sources use the word obsessed to describe Dickens relationship to her. Critics of Dickens' works state the angelic character of Little Nell, who died in the 1841 novel, “The Old Curiosity Shop,” was inspired by the author's pain after Mary's death. Her death inspired the Dickens' characters of the seventeen-year-old Rose Maylie in the 1839 novel, “Oliver Twist;” the seventeen-year-old sister Kate in the 1839 novel, “Nicholas Nickeby;” and the relationship between Agnes and David in the 1850 novel, “David Copperfield.” Some critics claim the little governess, Ruth, in Dickens' 1844 novel, “Martin Chuzzlewit” was done in a memory of Mary as well. Catherine, Dickens' wife, appears not to have been used as any of the characters in his writings. In the memory of Mary Scott Hogarth, Dickens and his wife named their daughter Mary; the baby was born on March 6, 1838, which was less than one year after Mary's death. Her bedroom is now part of the Dickens Museum. Dickens paid for her funeral and composed the inscription on her grave marker: "Young, beautiful and good God in his mercy numbered her among his angels at the early age of seventeen.”

Bio by: Linda Davis

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 18 May 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 9366
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Mary Scott Hogarth (26 Oct 1819–7 May 1837), Find a Grave Memorial no. 9366, citing Kensal Green Cemetery, Kensal Green, London Borough of Brent, Greater London, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .