An excerpt from Little Dorrit about how Flora’s character changed. This refers to Dickens’ own feelings toward the woman who became his first love in real life: Maria Beadnell (Dickens embodied the young Maria Beadnell in Dora). What was once Dickens adored so much in Mary, later changed when they met again as adults.
"Flora, always tall, had grown to be very broad too and short of breath; but that was not much. Flora, whom he had left a lily, had become a peony; ut that was not much. Flora, who had seemed enchanting in all she said and thought, was diffuse and silly. That was much. Flora, who had been spoiled and artless long ago, was determined to be spoiled and artless now. That was a fatal blow."
For Dickens, "Maria's flirtatious manner in young age became silly and irritating in middle aged..."