I found this book about the secret life of Charles Dickens to be quite entertaining. It is based on the premise that Dickens had a young mistress named Ellen Ternan who was kept quite secret from British society and was only known to a few close associates of Dickens. The book is told from 3 separate points-of-view: that of Wilkie Collins, the mystery novelist and friend of Dickens; Ellen Ternan, herself; and Georgina Hogarth, the sister of Dickens estranged wife. The Collins narrative was to me the most enjoyable. It portrays Collins as a rakish figure who encourages Dickens to go to prostitutes and enjoy a mistress. Collins is also a user of opiates including laudanum and uses this to enhance his mind in developing his novels like The Moonstone. At one point Collins concocts a scheme to shield Dickens from the arrival in England of his illegitimate son by Ternan. The scheme involved having Collins' mistress wed a dreadful deformed shopkeeper who is given the illusion that he is a baron. Of course this leads to catastrophe and affects everyone involved. I didn't find the book to be offensive or sexually explicit as stated in some reviews at Amazon.com. Although, I'm not sure how much of this novel was factual, I would still give this one a high recommendation for anyone interested in Dickens' life.