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But he would have been amused to know what the future held for Urania Cottage in Lime Grove.
Years later, the site became home to the BBC's first television studios, and it is thought that the cottage itself - now demolished - became the Blue Peter office.
Now, as Little Dorrit is brought to the screen in a lavish BBC production, Caroline's story is being told for the first time in a new book, Charles Dickens And The House Of Fallen Women by Jenny Hartley.
Claire Foy as Amy Dorrit in the BBC drama Little Dorrit Dickens was at the height of his career when he received a pleading letter from Caroline's younger brother, Frederick Maynard, a struggling architect's draughtsman.
Rather, the girls, who were mostly in their teens, would be trained to be domestic servants, capable of earning their own living and running decent homes of their own, once they emigrated and - so Dickens hoped - eventually married. The girls had to sign up for emigration, because it was almost impossible for 'fallen women' to reinvent themselves at home, for without a good character reference, who would employ them?
Dickens discovered that Caroline had been living as the common-law wife of a businessman, who had deserted her and, with no income, she had been reduced to prostitution to support her little girl.'There can never have been much evil in her, apart from the early circumstances, that directed her steps the wrong way.I cannot get the picture of her out of my head,' he wrote, after their first encounter.It was an episode of his life that filled him with such dreaded memories and shame that he never spoke of it, and even kept it a secret from his own children.Urania Cottage became Dickens' refuge for fallen women Nearly 100 women must have passed through Urania Cottage before the scheme came to an end.