Please sir, can I have some more (Gin & Strumpet)? By: Victoria Robert

Whoever said that the History of Gin couldn’t be interesting? The Oliver Twist novelist himself not only led a dark and seedy life but also indulged in spot of Gin drinking.

Charles was a cocktail drinking, cigar smoking, brandy loving, champagne sipping, Victorian day rock star, who most certainly was a man behaving badly.

So what the Dickens did he get up to in his life time?

Well, after his father was put in the slammer, he left school to work in a factory and eventually ended up in a house for unwanted children. At fifteen he worked as an office boy and then as journalist. Nine years later he climbed up the career ladder and became the successful author we know today.

Aged 24 he married the youthful Catherine Hogarth who managed to pop out 10 children in the space of 15 years proving that the private knoodlings must’ve been rather successful. That being said, their relationship wasn’t overly romantic as Dickens complained that she was fat and unattractive.

This could perhaps explain why he showed such a liking to helping prostitutes. He set up a home to look after them, and also to utilise them.

He also utilised a young lover known as “Nelly”, and it is said that he was so transfixed by her, that not only did he fall in love with her, but her sisters also. He liked her because she was petite and pretty, which was everything he looked for in a women, and clearly not what he saw in his wife.

It is said that when this affair was occurring he cheekily built a wall across the middle of his and his wives bedroom then put Nelly in a secret love den where he lived part time and took trips outside of London to sneakily buy his young conquest sexy black underwear. What a Lothario!

All this being said and done, he did have a soft side and carried his dog with him everywhere and helped the poor and underprivileged as much as he could.

There was definitely method in his madness, as he wrote many successful novels that are still popular today, and I think that if Charlie boy lived in present times he would’ve not only approved of, but also dabbled in our take on Oliver Twist, the quintessentially English, London distilled gin.

Article by: Gin Connoisseur Victoria Robert 


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