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BBC film to highlight Charles Dickens' affair

19th May 2010

A new production from BBC Films will shed light on a little-known element of Charles Dickens' life - his 15-year affair with a young actress.

The broadcaster announced at the Cannes Film Festival that Abi Morgan, who adapted Monica Ali's Brick Lane for the silver screen, will write the screenplay for the currently untitled project.

Morgan's script will be based on Claire Tomalin's 1991 revisionist biography The Invisible Woman. However, it will also claim that the author and actress Nelly Ternan had a child together, who died in his infancy.

Stewart Mackinnon, the film's producer, told the Daily Telegraph: 'The heart of Dickens' novels were love for one's family, but here was this man who had a wife and ten children and for 15 years he had an affair.'

He also claimed that the production will allow the writer's fans to read his works in 'a different way' and highlight his human failings.

At the Cannes Film Festival, the BBC also revealed that it is currently filming an adaptation of Lionel Shriver's bestselling novel We Need To Talk About Kevin, while Ralph Fiennes' directorial debut Coriolanus, a contemporary take on Shakespeare's play, is in post-production.

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