Perceiving Jose Rizal’s imminent courtship to her, his compatriot Marcelo H. del Pilar teased the lover boy by suggesting that his first novel should be renamed ‘Nelly Me Tangere’.
Nellie Boustead, also called Nelly, was the younger of the two pretty daughters of the wealthy businessman Eduardo Boustead, son of a rich British trader, who went to the Orient in 1826. The Bousteads hosted Rizal’s stay in Biarritz in February 1891 at their winter residence, Villa Eliada on the superb French Riviera. Rizal had befriended the family back in 1889-90 and used to fence with the Anglo-Filipino Boustead sisters (Adelina and Nellie) at the studio of Juan Luna.
Having learned Leonor Rivera’s marriage to Henry Kipping, Rizal entertained the idea of having romantic relation with the highly educated, cheerful, athletic, beautiful, and morally upright Nellie. He wrote some of his friends (though remarkably except Ferdinand Blumentritt) about his affection for Nelly and his idea of proposing marriage to her.