A Delight, A Madness!

“The Wombat is a Joy, a Triumph, a Delight, a Madness!”  ~ Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Once again, regular readers will know that Friday means #WombatFriday!  A day of celebrating the Pre-Raphaelites with silliness and a spirit of fun. Artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti had a lifelong love for wombats and his enthusiasm for them spread among other Pre-Raphaelite artists.  Edward Burne-Jones drew countless cartoons of them and one was recently found on a hidden mural in William Morris’ Red House.  Yesterday was the anniversary of Rossetti’s death, so to spread the joy of wombats seems a fitting thing to do in his honor.  You can follow along at the Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood Facebook page or by using the #wombatfriday hashtag on Twitter (you can find me there as @beguilingmerlin).   For more in depth explanations of Wombat Friday see Celebrating Wombat Friday by Raine Szramski and Wombat Friday by Kirsty Stonell Walker.

Burne-Jones' drawing of a wombat.
Burne-Jones’ drawing of a wombat.

For those of you who are new to Wombat Fridays,  it all started in January 25,2013 when I posted several pictures of wombats with cake and books in a spur of the moment celebration of the upcoming weekend.  From that, a silly conversation began on twitter and my friend Madeleine Pearce (@nouveaudigital) tweeted the hashtag #wombatfriday. And #WombatFriday was born.  Museums, libraries, several William Morris societies, authors, and Pre-Raphaelite enthusiasts from all over the world have all joined in on the antics. We are unstoppable. As Rossetti said, wombats are a madness and it is spreading.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti laments the death of his wombat
Dante Gabriel Rossetti laments the death of his wombat

Lately, I have been using Wombat Fridays as a chance to share weekly links to all the latest Pre-Raphaelite and Victorian happenings online, so here’s this week’s treats:

Valerie Meachum has continued her vlog, this time with a very special video about Pre-Raphaelite bloggers. I am honored to be included and consider each of these ladies my sisters. Thank you, Valerie.

Kirsty Stonell Walker has been visiting Tennyson in his old stomping grounds of Lincolnshire:  Trailing Tennyson

Essie Fox of The Virtual Victorian reviews an exhibition of Salt and Silver Photography. 

The William Morris Society and the Emery Walker Trust will launch their Arts and Crafts Hammersmith initiative in the new year.

Here at Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood, I posted about unwed mothers and The Bridge of Sighs and the significance of marigolds.

I’m currently reading The Hours Before, a fascinating novel of the Belle Époque. I will be reviewing it here soon, but in the meantime you may want to check it out at Robert Stephen Parry’s site. 

Previous #WombatFriday offerings:

Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s fascination for wombats and other animals led him to accumulate a curious menagerie.  Read Victorian actress Dame Ellen Terry’s account of his brood.  You can also read my post about Dame Ellen Terry’s life. I have an obsession with her Lady Macbeth gown, made of shimmering beetle wings.

Dame Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth
Dame Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth




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