Lewis Carroll and the Pre-Raphaelites

Alice in Wonderland has a strong hold on our popular culture.  Over a century has passed since it and the sequel Through the Looking Glass were written and Alice’s strange journeys charm us still.  How many times can we reinterpret this book on screen?  It seems to be an endless source of inspiration and the…
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William Morris and Fantasy

William Morris’ fantasy books resonate with my bibliophile heart. Epic voyages told through folkloric narratives, his fantasies contributed to the birth of the Fantasy genre as we know it. As if that weren’t enough, he presented these works to the world in breathtaking volumes that are the epitome of typography and ornament.   It is his…
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Book review: That Summer by Lauren Willig

That Summer was tremendous fun to read, especially if you have an interest in the Pre-Raphaelites.  Lauren Willig adroitly weaves together two tales that take place in two different time periods:  one in 1849, the other in 2009. In 2009, Julia Conley unexpectedly inherits a house outside of London.  Herne Hill is a family home…
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Skeletons in the closet

Fatima was painted by Sir Edward Burne-Jones in 1862 and depicts the last wife of Bluebeard, the ancient serial killer who has the bodies of his previous wives hidden away. You can read an annotated version of Charles Perrault’s Bluebeard online at SurLaLune Fairy Tales. (Originally published in January 1697) Bluebeard hails from the days when children’s…
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Book Review: A Curl of Copper and Pearl

“To start with I was nothing, but then the merest sweep of his pencil gave a hint of what I could become.”  –A Curl of Copper and Pearl I’ve spent almost my entire adult life pursuing the Pre-Raphaelites, but never have I felt so immersed in their world as I did while reading this book….
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A Mad, Wicked Folly

I’ve just finished reading Sharon Biggs Waller’s new YA book, A Mad, Wicked Folly and I thoroughly loved every second of it.  I always enjoy seeing Pre-Raphaelite art woven into a fictional setting and in this particular case, it was well-crafted and expertly done. Victoria Darling is a girl born of privilege, yet she is…
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Hand and Soul

In 1849, the newly formed Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood decided to start a magazine to help support and explain their artistic perspective.  The Germ had a short run of only four issues,  with the final two issues appearing under the title Art and Poetry: Being Thoughts towards Nature Conducted Principally by Artists. In 1898, an American named…
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Review: The Mystery of Princess Louise

Lucinda Hawksley, undeterred by lack of access to certain archives,  has written a riveting account of Princess Louise.   Known as Queen Victoria’s rebellious daughter,  Louise was forward-thinking, artistic and outspoken. Ahead of her time,  Princess Louise proves herself to be a strong and independent woman in spite of her royal constraints. “She is very…
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Poor Splendid Wings

Our local library has an annual fund raising sale.  There are literally thousands of donated books and the sale is so popular that a few regulars camp out overnight in order to be the first in line.  It’s a dream come true for a book lover. The first year I went, I pushed my one…
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MUSE: A new poetry collection by Dawn Marie Kresan

Elizabeth Siddal still continues to inspire. Dawn Marie Kresan explores multiple aspects of Siddal’s life and legacy in a newly-published poetry collection, Muse. I was unprepared for the depth of emotion Kresan’s work creates. Her expertly crafted poems touch upon Lizzie’s discovery and role as muse to the Pre-Raphaelites.  Several poems include moments of Lizzie’s…
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What Burne-Jones learned from Rossetti

Today I have been contemplating this passage from The Memorials of Burne-Jones: “All the actual study of painting that Edward did with Rossetti was a few mornings’ work in his studio, but what he learnt from him was far more than painting. “He taught me to have no fear or shame of my own ideas,…
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Special Deal: Phaidon releases new Millais book

Phaidon has released a new book on artist John Everett Millais and if you use coupon code PR35JM at checkout, you will receive 35% off.  This offer is only valid when you purchase directly from Phaidon, not applicable at other online book sellers. I haven’t read the book yet, but it looks wonderful.  According to…
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Fanny Cornforth as Fair Rosamund

With the release of Stunner, Fanny Cornforth is happily on my mind.  I thought I’d share one of my favorite paintings of Fanny:  Fair Rosamund by Dante Gabriel Rossetti.  This is not the first time I have shared this image here, you can also see Rossetti’s study for Fair Rosamund in this post from June…
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Win a signed copy of Stunner

As mentioned previously, a new and improved edition of Stunner has been released into the wild. Stunner, the biography of model Fanny Cornforth, belongs on the shelf of all Pre-Raphaelite enthusiasts. Kirsty Stonell Walker has launched a contest to give away a signed copy of the book. She (and her daughter and chicken) has posed…
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Stunner!

I am excited to share that you may now purchase Kirsty Stonell Walker’s biography of Pre-Raphaelite model Fanny Cornforth.  This is by far one of the best Pre-Raphaelite biographies I have ever read and it needs a home on your shelf. This is technically the second edition of Stunner, but even if you already own…
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Book Review: Reading the Pre-Raphaelites by Tim Barringer

Originally published fifteen years ago, Yale University Press has released a revised edition of Reading the Pre-Raphaelites by Tim Barringer. It is an excellent book for any Pre-Raphaelite enthusiast to have, one I hazard that you will revisit repeatedly.  This edition contains  a new section on photography, which is fitting since Tim Barringer is also a co-author…
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