The Bridge of Sighs


The Life and Letters of Sir John Everett Millais is my go-to source when blogging about Millias’ works. Written by his son, John Guille Millais, it was published in 1899 as a two-volume set that is filled with biographical information and anecdotes about Millais works, models, and themes.  It is an invaluable resource for me and…
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Good #WombatFriday


Happy #WombatFriday to you!  It’s also Good Friday and Easter weekend is here, so I hope that whatever your plans, you have the loveliest of times. I am in desperate need of a chocolate bunny.  Well,  bunnies (who am I kidding?) There’s a lot going on, so here’s the latest  Pre-Raphaelite and Victorian links: Earlier…
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Waterhouse Signatures


Above is a version of John William Waterhouse’s The Flower Picker.   In J.W. Waterhouse (2002, Phaidon Press), author Peter Trippi tells us that Waterhouse painted at least four versions of this work. “Waterhouse employed looser handling to make at least four depictions of a girl leaning over a fence to pick flowers.  There is no evidence…
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#MythicMarch nears its end


Happy Wombat Friday!  This week, our hero the wombat admires Waterhouse’s Flora and the Zephyrs, which can be seen in the previous post The Winds of Waterhouse.  March is coming to an end and #MythicMarch has been wonderful.  If you are interested in incorporating the beauty if myth into your home life, you can join…
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Lamia Revisited


Left to herself, the serpent now began To change; her elfin blood in madness ran, Her mouth foam’d, and the grass, therewith besprent, Wither’d at dew so sweet and virulent;  — Excerpt from Lamia, John Keats   I’ve shared John William Waterhouse’s first depiction of Lamia (1905) on this site at least twice, but I’ve…
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Happy World Poetry Day


To celebrate World Poetry Day, I share one of my favorite poems by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Sudden Light  I have been here before,                 But when or how I cannot tell:          I know the grass beyond the door,                 The sweet keen smell, The sighing sound, the lights around the shore.            You have been…
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The Mystery of Fanny Cornforth


Once again, it’s #WombatFriday!  This week, I am sharing a story with you because for Pre-Raphaelite enthusiasts, this is a profound discovery. Fanny Cornforth was a frequent model for for Dante Gabriel Rossetti.  Historically, biographers have written more about his models Elizabeth Siddal and Jane Morris, leaving Fanny to the sidelines. Her past as a prostitute…
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Hylas and the Nymphs


Hylas and the Nymphs by John William Waterhouse depicts a scene from Jason and the Argonauts.  Hylas was the son of King Theiodamas, who was killed in battle by Herakles.  Herakles then raised Hylas as his own. Known for both his striking beauty and his military prowess, Hylas was later taken to Argo by Herakles and became…
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#WombatFriday Links: March 13th


Happy Wombat Friday!  Why Wombat Friday?   If the concept of Wombat Friday is new to you, Kirsty Stonell Walker’s post will fill you in. Mythic March continues and I have just shared a post about the beautiful sorceress Circe.  And since Circe could be considered monstrous, here’s my previous post on Monstrous Women.  Stephanie Stewart-Howard has…
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Circe the Sorceress

Odysseus und Kirke

Mythic March continues with one of my favorite mythic witches:  Circe. Waterhouse is an adept at blending feminine beauty and mystery.  Here he depicts the goddess Circe amidst shades of greens and blues, creating a world that draws us in and mesmerizes.   If you really look at this painting, you can feel yourself transported into Circe’s…
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Mythic #WombatFriday


This week marks the beginning of Mythic March, so my posts have been celebrations of mythology and legend:  Legendary Armor and The persistence of Myth.  If you are interested in incorporating the beauty of myth, fantasy, and fairy tale into your own home, visit my friend Grace’s blog Domythic Bliss. Kirsty Stonell Walker has shared paintings…
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The Persistence of Myth


Myths are not dry, ancient tales.  They are man’s earliest experiments with metaphor and language.  They are truths nestled within layers of mystery and magic that tell us that we can make it if we try.  Myths do not lie to us or smother us in platitudes.  They openly tell us that bad things are…
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Legendary Armor

perseus study

It’s Mythic March! Created by my friends Grace Nuth and Lisa Stock, its premise is similar to NaNoWriMo: spend a month incorporating the beauty of myth into your daily life. Many participants will use the opportunity to get creative and embark on new projects and crafts. I’d like to use this month to look at how…
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The Palace of Art


Huzzah! Once again it is #WombatFriday. Kirsty Stonell Walker has just written a fabulous post: The Illustrated Tennyson: A Brief History.  So, in honor of Kirsty, today’s Wombat Friday has a Tennyson theme. Pictured above, our hero the wombat can be seen with my own illustrated copy of Tennyson and one of my favorite images:…
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#WombatFriday: Mad Tea-Party edition


“Take some more tea,” the March Hare said to Alice, very earnestly. “I’ve had nothing yet,” Alice replied in an offended tone, “so I can’t take more.” “You mean you can’t take less,” said the Hatter: “it’s very easy to take more than nothing.” This week, I blogged about Lewis Carroll and the Pre-Raphaelites and Alice…
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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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#WombatFriday: Lizzie Siddal, Valentine’s, Friday the 13th


Happy  Wombat Friday!  You can follow Pre-Rapahelite Sisterhood on Facebook and Twitter. This week our hero the wombat appears with two book recommendations: The Legend of Elizabeth Siddal by Jan Marsh (nonfiction) A Curl of Copper and Pearl by Kirsty Stonell Walker (fiction) Wednesday marked the anniversary of Elizabeth Siddal’s death.  In Dim Phantoms I talk…
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Dim Phantoms

Elizabeth Siddal, drawb by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

On this day in 1862, Elizabeth Siddal died.  In many accounts of her, you will see her death described as suicide.  Whether intentional or not, she lost her life due to an overdose of Laudanum.   You can read a transcript of the inquest here. The hills grow darker to my sight And thoughts begin…
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#WombatFriday: weekly links

This week, my website turned eleven years old! It and Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood are my labor of love and I appreciate your support and your comments, emails, and friendship.  Through these sites I have discovered kindred spirits and I am grateful for you all.  And thank you to those of you who have befriended me…
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Monstrous Women


I was browsing a bookstore and found an aisle offering boxed sets of movies packaged with the books they were based on. A little girl picked up Frankenstein and handed it to her mother, who rolled her eyes. “You don’t want that. That’s for boys.” I assume the mother had never heard of Mary Shelley….
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