Diamond ring could prove Charles Dickens had secret love-child

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A diamond ring could prove that the author Charles Dickens had a secret lovechild with his sister-in-law Georgina Hogarth, according to auctioneers who are offering the item for sale.

The ring's anonymous owners, who claim they are descendants of Hogarth, are said to be convinced the pair were having an affair and that they had a son, Hector, who the novelist did not recognise as his own.
At the time, Dickens' close relationship with Hogarth, who lived in the family home as the housekeeper, led to rumours they were having an affair.

But he made her take a virginity test and denied "monstrous representations" concerning their relationship.

Now, nearly 150 years after Dickens' death, auctioneers Nigel Ward of Pontrilas, Herefordshire, is selling the ring inscribed "Alfred Tennyson to Charles Dickens 1854", which the owners say was passed down from the illegitimate child.

Mr Ward said analysis of documentation led him to believe that Hector was the son of the novelist and Hogarth.

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