The Magic Down the Rabbit Hole

As I pursue the Pre-Raphaelites, I find it is the small details that captivate me, pulling me further and further down the rabbit hole.  One tiny detail that delighted me recently is this glimpse of what’s on the mantle in Burne-Jones’ sitting room. The photo above was taken by photographer Frederick Hollyer, who recorded several…
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#WombatFriday: Description of Lizzie Siddal

Inspired by artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s passion for wombats, every Friday is Wombat Friday at Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood. “The Wombat is a Joy, a Triumph, a Delight, a Madness!” – Dante Gabriel Rossetti When we read about Elizabeth Siddal, it is quite often an account written with shades of sadness and melancholy, which is understandable as…
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Ellen Terry: Pre-Raphaelite Actress

The model for Millais’ painting of Portia has often been incorrectly identified as Shakespearean actress Ellen Terry. The model was actually Kate Dolan, although the mistake is understandable as she was painted wearing Ellen Terry’s costume: Of course I will lend you the dress (here it is.) or anything in the world that I possess,…
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On Storms

“Tones sound, and roar and storm about me until I have set them down in notes.” Ludwig van Beethoven I’ve mentioned Evelyn De Morgan’s painting The Storm Spirits on this site once before, when I was talking about how my moods are often directly tied to the weather.  I love a good thunderstorm, there is…
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Cold Weather Reading

Today has been cold and grey, the kind of day that makes me want to do nothing other than curl up and read.  I’ve been reading A Private Disgrace: Lizzie Borden by Daylight, which I recently scooped up at a library book sale. As I set it aside, I thought about the fact that reading…
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#WombatFriday: Rossetti’s Dove

Inspired by artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s passion for wombats, every Friday is Wombat Friday at Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood. “The Wombat is a Joy, a Triumph, a Delight, a Madness!” – Dante Gabriel Rossetti. You all know T-Dub is a worthy assistant here in my Pre-Raphaelite hood (Get it? Sisterhood? Hood?  Okay, I’ll move on.) I recently…
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The Wounded Dove

The Wounded Dove, painted by Rebecca Solomon, is a painting that resonates with me deeply.  The dove’s wing appears broken and I don’t know if the poor creature is accepting of the help being offered or if it struggles against those cradling hands.  Hurt and frightened, the only things that can possibly help are time,…
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On Gratitude

We celebrate Thanksgiving this week and I have a lot to be grateful for.  My greatest blessings are certainly my children and my family, but what I also rate high on my gratitude scale is what I absorb in my soul as I write Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood.  This blog is a lifeline for me and living…
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#WombatFriday Thoughts from Rossetti

Inspired by artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s passion for wombats, every Friday is Wombat Friday at Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood. “The Wombat is a Joy, a Triumph, a Delight, a Madness!” – Dante Gabriel Rossetti .  You can follow #WombatFriday on Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood’s Facebook page. At the end of The Collected Works of Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1886), William…
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#WombatFriday: The Woman in White

Inspired by artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s passion for wombats, every Friday is Wombat Friday at Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood. “The Wombat is a Joy, a Triumph, a Delight, a Madness!” – Dante Gabriel Rossetti   You can follow #WombatFriday on Facebook . This week I have been rereading The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins.  It has long…
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The Woman in White

The Somnambulist  by Sir John Everett Millais is a captivating image and many speculate that it is inspired by the Wilkie Collins novel The Woman in White.  Millais was a close friend to both Wilkie Collins and his brother, artist Charles Collins.  The Life and Letters of Sir John Everett Millais, written by the artist’s son,…
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#WombatFriday Helen of Troy

Inspired by artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s passion for wombats, every Friday is Wombat Friday at Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood. “The Wombat is a Joy, a Triumph, a Delight, a Madness!” – Dante Gabriel Rossetti Thaddeus Fern Diogones Wombat, known to friends as T-Dub, has developed a passion for ancient Greece.  Today he is exploring a woman who…
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#WombatFriday The Bower Meadow

Inspired by artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s passion for wombats, every Friday is Wombat Friday at Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood. “The Wombat is a Joy, a Triumph, a Delight, a Madness!” – Dante Gabriel Rossetti My sidekick Thaddeus Fern Diogenes Wombat, known as T-Dub to close friends, is quickly becoming a Rossetti aficionado.  Today we contemplate The Bower…
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Aspecta Medusa

Medusa was once a beautiful maiden who was transformed by the goddess Athena into a Gorgon.  Of all three Gorgons, Medusa alone was mortal.  Her hair was a mass of writhing serpents and a glimpse of her face would turn you to stone. Perseus, son of Zeus and Danae, avoided Medusa’s deadly gaze by viewing…
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#WombatFriday Behold the Goddess of Memory

Inspired by artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s passion for wombats, every Friday is Wombat Friday at Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood. “The Wombat is a Joy, a Triumph, a Delight, a Madness!” – Dante Gabriel Rossetti In Mnemosyne, Dante Gabriel Rossetti painted Jane Morris as the Greek goddess of memory and time. Sadly, time was running out on Rossetti…
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On Aging

Jane Morris was swept into the Pre-Raphaelite world at age eighteen.  She was La Belle Iseult to William Morris, who declared “I cannot paint you; but I love you”. Then she was Pandora, Mnemosyne, Astarte Syriaca and other assorted goddesses to Dante Gabriel Rossetti.  Years later, after the Pre-Raphaelite bloom had faded from her cheeks, we see Jane on canvas again in Evelyn…
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#WombatFriday: Peeling Back the Layers

Inspired by artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s passion for wombats, every Friday is Wombat Friday at Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood. “The Wombat is a Joy, a Triumph, a Delight, a Madness!” – Dante Gabriel Rossetti Thaddeus Fern Diogenes Wombat is a worthy assistant at Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood.  He eagerly absorbs everything he encounters about the Pre-Raphaelites and I enjoy…
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#WombatFriday: A Study in Green

Inspired by artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s passion for wombats, every Friday is Wombat Friday at Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood. “The Wombat is a Joy, a Triumph, a Delight, a Madness!” – Dante Gabriel Rossetti This has been an exciting week for T-Dub because as I was preparing this blog post, he watched Vertigo for the first time. …
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A Pre-Raphaelite Look at Hitchcock’s Vertigo

Warning: This post contains spoilers. If you have not seen Vertigo, you might want to back away slowly because I do not want to ruin your experience You have been warned. “Do you believe that someone out of the past, someone dead, can enter and take possession of a living being?”–Gavin Elster to Scottie in…
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A Tennyson #WombatFriday

Inspired by artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s passion for wombats, every Friday is Wombat Friday at Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood. “The Wombat is a Joy, a Triumph, a Delight, a Madness!” – Dante Gabriel Rossetti On September 27, 1855, Dante Gabriel Rossetti attended a gathering at the home of Robert Browning and his wife Elizabeth.  Alfred, Lord Tennyson…
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Autumn Inspires

I find Autumn to be healing.  Life takes on a distinctive flavor and the speed may be different, but the possibilities are endless.  It’s an inspiring season that delights the senses with colors and smells in a way I find comforting.  It’s no wonder that many artists and poets have paid homage to it in…
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