Healing, resting

“There is nothing stable in the world; uproar’s your only music.”-John Keats

Several months ago I was diagnosed with a dermoid tumor on my ovary. If you aren’t squeamish, google dermoid. It’s a real monster.  However, I am extremely grateful for mine. It saved my life. During exams and tests leading up to surgery, my doctor found other small cancerous areas. Thankfully, it was all caught in the very early stages. I had a surgery last week and am recovering from a cystectomy/oopherectomy/hysterectomy.  Actually, the hysterectomy has inspired an upcoming blog post on hysteria and the treatment of Victorian women.  But, I think I’ll rest a bit first.

stephanieshirt raineshirt

As a self-employed family, the medical bills have mounted swiftly. My dear friend Raine Szramski is currently selling this beautiful Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood shirt and is donating the proceeds to our gofundme account. I am overwhelmed and so grateful at her generosity and at the kindness of so many people I love both in my online world and off. I hardly have words to express my gratitude. Thank you, as well, to everyone who posted on FB and Twitter about me. Your well wishes have not gone unnoticed and I am grateful.  My life is filled with so many wonderful people and I count you all among them. Add to that books and art, which are my endless sources of inspiration, and I have to say that I am a fortunate person indeed. As Keats said, “I have good reason to be content, for thank God I can read and perhaps understand Shakespeare to his depths.” I echo his sentiment.

I expect to take a few days’ hiatus. Although, I honestly don’t expect it to be long since  every day, I feel a bit better than the day before. And the Pre-Raphaelites have been a big part of my daily life for virtually all of my adulthood, so I believe I will be back to writing about them sooner rather than later. Why shouldn’t they be a part of my recovery when their art and poetry have been a source of inspiration for me in all the highs and lows of my life?

In the meantime, however, I have assembled a collection of favorite past blog posts for those of you new to the site or for old friends who enjoy a retrospective. Since I am sleeping a lot, I  will start with that:

The Art of Slumber


Frederick, Lord Leighton's 'Flaming June'.  See full post: The Art of Slumber

Frederick, Lord Leighton’s ‘Flaming June’. See full post: The Art of Slumber


Lewis Carroll and the Pre-Raphaelites: Did the Pre-Raphaelites have any influence on Alice in Wonderland?

'Alice on the Train', John Tenniel. See Lewis Carroll and the Pre-Raphaelites

‘Alice on the Train’, John Tenniel. See Lewis Carroll and the Pre-Raphaelites


Katabasis: Journeys into the Underworld


The Significance of Marigolds


Unusual Waterhouse Signatures

Saint Eulalia, John William Waterhouse Can you spot the signature?

Saint Eulalia, John William Waterhouse Can you spot the signature?


Hylas and the Nymphs




The Persistence of Myth

'Nymphs Finding the Head of Orpheus' (John William Waterhouse)

‘Nymphs Finding the Head of Orpheus’ (John William Waterhouse)


Monstrous Women



To see the gorgon’s head

Study for 'Aspecta Medusa', Dante Gabriel Rossetti, model Alexa Wilding.

Study for ‘Aspecta Medusa’, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, model Alexa Wilding.


I stretch my hands and catch at Hope

'Pandora' (detail), Dante Gabriel Rossetti

‘Pandora’ (detail), Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Millais’ Ghostly Apparition

'Speak! Speak!', Sir John Everett Millais

‘Speak! Speak!’, Sir John Everett Millais


The Bridge of Sighs

Picture 920


Elizabeth Siddal: Laying the ghost to rest



Regina Cordium (Queen of Hearts)


Who is the Blessed Damozel?

'The Blessed Damozel', Dante Gabriel Rossetti.  Based on his poem by the same name.

‘The Blessed Damozel’, Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Based on his poem by the same name.


Rossetti and the Art of Death

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 'Study for Bonifazio's Mistress'

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, ‘Study for Bonifazio’s Mistress’


Gowns so white and fair

'A Somnambulist', Sir John Everett Millais

‘A Somnambulist’, Sir John Everett Millais


Her enchanted hair

'Lady Lilith', Dante Gabriel Rossetti

‘Lady Lilith’, Dante Gabriel Rossetti


And now I plan to nap. Read great books. Plan upcoming blog posts. Eat well and nourish myself.







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3 thoughts on “Healing, resting

  1. Pingback: “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” | The Blue Bower

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