Statue of Charles Dickens' musician sister is installed in Portsmouth to mark release of new Netflix show Enola Holmes

SHE was the overshadowed sister of one of Portsmouth’s most acclaimed literary sons.

By Tom Cotterill
Tuesday, 22nd September 2020, 5:41 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd September 2020, 9:38 pm

But now the efforts of Frances Dickens, the sibling of acclaimed author Charles Dickens, has been recognised in her home city.

A new temporary sculpture has been unveiled of Frances in Portsmouth’s Guildhall Square, close to a statue of her brother, who was born in Old Commercial Road.

Frances was a talented pianist and singer who studied at the Royal Academy of Music under Ignaz Moscheles, a former pupil of Ludwig van Beethoven.

A sculpture of Frances Dickens has been placed opposite the statue of author Charles Dickens on Guildhall Walk, Portsmouth on 22 September 2020. Picture: Habibur Rahman

The gold and green design of Frances stands overlooking her brother’s sculpture, which depicts him reclining on a stack of books.

The temporary statue is one of several that have popped up across the UK and has been inspired by the release of the Netflix film Enola Holmes, starring Stranger Things star, Millie Bobby Brown as the younger sister of Sherlock Holmes.

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A statue of Enola has been placed opposite that of the fictional detective – whose creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, was once a Southsea GP – in London’s Baker Street, to accompany those of the real-life sisters of the 18th and 19th centuries, whose achievements were overshadowed by their more famous brothers.

A sculpture of Frances Dickens has been placed opposite the statue of author Charles Dickens on Guildhall Walk, Portsmouth on 22 September 2020. Picture: Habibur Rahman

A statue of Mary Hardy, the sister of Thomas Hardy and the headmistress of a local school, has been placed in Dorchester opposite that of her brother, the author of books including Tess Of The d’Urbervilles, Far From The Madding Crowd and Jude The Obscure.

Meanwhile, a statue of Princess Helena Victoria, sister of King Edward VII and founding member of the British Red Cross and president of the Royal British Nurses Association, who campaigned for better working conditions, rights and pay, has been placed in Birmingham.

Enola Holmes is on Netflix from Wednesday.

A sculpture of Frances Dickens has been placed opposite the statue of author Charles Dickens on Guildhall Walk, Portsmouth on 22 September 2020. Picture: Habibur Rahman

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A sculpture of Frances Dickens has been placed opposite the statue of author Charles Dickens on Guildhall Walk, Portsmouth on 22 September 2020. Picture: Habibur Rahman

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