Portrait of Catherine Hogarth Dickens from the painting by Daniel Maclise, circa 1846 and owned by Mrs. Perugini.  When Catherine Hogarth married Charles Dickens, she was twenty-one and Charles twenty-four.  She was “pleasingly plump’ and generally of a cheerful disposition; however, she was inclined to be petulant and at times moody.  Charles on the other hand was always full of high spirits, loving but flirtatious.  He flirted with Mary Boyle, with whom he played in amateur theatricals.  He flirted with Madame DeLarue, on whom he practiced his art of hypnotism.  Catherine objected strenuously to the connection with Madame DeLarue, but Dickens refused to break off the friendship.  Catherine’s sister, Georgina, had taken care of the Dickens children while Catherine and Charles were abroad.  The children loved Georgina and, in 1842, she became a permanent member of the Dickens household.  Catherine soon became jealous of her sister.  In the 1850’s, it became increasingly clear that Catherine was suffering from a nervous ailment.  She was subject to periods of confusion, and she grew awkward and clumsy.  Her sister Georgina was forced to assume management of the household.  At first, Charles sought to make light of Catherine’s difficulties.  While she made every effort to please him, he became increasingly irritated with her and the inevitable happened.  He moved into a separate bedroom and their estrangement became real.