BORN 1810, London: Lombard Street - DIED 1886, Southsea, Hampshire: 6 Shaftesbury Road|
BIRTH NAME Beadnell, Maria Sarah
GRAVE LOCATION Portsmouth, Hampshire: Highland Road Cemetery, Southsea
Maria Beadnell was the third and youngest daughter of the banker George Beadnell (1773-1862) from London. Her mother was Maria Jones (1781-1849). She was Charles Dickens' first love. He met her in 1830 when she was nineteen and he was eighteen. He courted her for four years, but her parents disapproved of him, finding him too young and irresponsible. The courtship ended in 1833 and eventually she married the saw-mill manager Henry Louis Winter (b.1816) from Finsbury when she was 35 years old. They had two daughters.
In 1855 Maria sent Dickens a letter and they secretly met without their spouses being present. Although she had warned him that she wasn't the same woman anymore, Dickens was shocked to learn that she was no longer beautiful and that she was quite fat now. He was relieved that he never married her and based the character of Flora Finching in "Little Dorrit" on her. They met once more for dinner with their spouses, but from then on Dickens avoided her.
Maria was buried in Portsmouth, where Dickens was born.
has a connection with Dickens, Charles