"I could have wished my wife had been my counsellor; had had more character and purpose, to sustain me and improve me by"
Catherine Dickens
Public DomainCatherine Dickens

It is thought that David’s disappointment in his marriage to Dora is based on Charles Dickens own marital disappointment.

In April 1836, Charles Dickens married Catherine Hogarth, the daughter of George Hogarth, editor of the Evening Chronicle.

They initially set up house in Bloomsbury, and Catherine bore her husband ten children. However as the years passed, Dickens considered his wife to be an inadequate housekeeper and mother. The couple formally separated in 1858.