The film makes visible Dickens’ secret mistress Ellen “Nelly” Ternan; A woman with whom he conducted an affair for the last thirteen years of his life.
Ternan herself was a theatre actress who happened to be a year younger than his own daughter. Her position in society was not particularly reputable, to say the least. Exposing his illicit affair would have ruined the pair of them…*sigh*
The wonderful Felicity Jones is stepping up to a more respectable mark following her Chalet Girl adventures; She will be taking on the role of Nelly. Alongside her, an impressive British cast make this a film to watch out for.
Kristin Scott Thomas will appear as Dickens’ long-suffering wife Catherine. Holland plays Wilkie Collins, most famous as the author of The Moonstone and The Woman In White, and a prolific playwrite to boot. He co-authored The Frozen Deep with Dickens, and it was that fateful production on which Dickens and Nelly first met.
The screenplay is orchestrated by Shame‘s writer Abi Morgan and shooting starts in April.