The Happy Marriage of Effie Millais


The marriage of Sir John Everett Millais is often talked about due to its scintillating details. The marriage itself was not scandalous, Millais and his wife Effie seem to have had a happy life together. But the fact that prior to her marriage, Effie was married to critic John Ruskin is a source of infinite…
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Love is a place


One of the benefits of an active reading life is that when you read not only for pleasure but for improvement, then similar themes in different authors’ works seem to just float to you. Unbidden. Like synergy. Today I read e.e.  cummings’ Love is a Place: love is a place & through this place of…
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Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow

Stills from the film 'Macbeth' 2014. 

Directed by Justin Kurzel, DoP Adam Arkapaw. Produced by Iain Canning, Laura Hastings-Smith & Emile Sherman

Unit stills Photography by Jonathan Olley

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day, To the last syllable of recorded time; And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death… —Macbeth (Act 5, Scene 5, lines 17-28) I’ve just read Variety’s review of the new adaptation of the Scottish play. I can…
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Wombats love T-Shirts


It is a little known fact that wombats love T-Shirts. Especially, I am told, Pre-Raphaelite shirts designed by Raine Szramski.  This #wombatfriday is essentially a thank you, because I must express my gratitude to Raine for her Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood shirt fundraiser. And thank you to each of you who bought shirts and contributed to my…
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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…
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For the love of wombats


Dante Gabriel Rossetti had a lifelong enthusiasm for wombats and #WombatFriday is a fun way to celebrate that. Yes it is silly, but it also encourages participation.  From the beginning, my favorite thing about Wombat Friday is how many people have come along for the ride.  I guess my claim to fame is that on…
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Birds in the works of Dante Gabriel Rossetti

A Vision of Fiammetta, 1878, Oil on Canvas

While from the quivering bough the bird expands His wings. And lo! thy spirit understands (from A Vision of Fiammetta, Dante Gabriel Rossetti) Birds appear frequently in both Rossetti’s paintings and poems.  In the late 1860s, after his wife Elizabeth Siddal’s  death, Rossetti began to be plagued by health and mental problems. A chaffinch landed…
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The Hours Before


The Hours Before is a mysterious and exciting novel by Robert Stephen Parry. Set in the Belle Epoque, I was hooked from the first page. Late one night, Deborah Peters enters her hotel room to find her maid is gone and another woman is in her place.  Deborah is already on a path of revenge, yet…
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Wombats Galore

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Once again #WombatFriday is upon us! The first and most important link I’ll share is a delightful talk given by Kirsty Stonell Walker on Pre-Raphaelite Stunners. Presented at Mrs. Middleton’s Shop in Mrs Middleton’s Shop in Freshwater, Isle of Wight , this al fresco talk is  an entertaining overview of women involved with the Pre-Raphaelites…
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The North-West Passage

The North-West Passage 1874 Sir John Everett Millais, Bt 1829-1896 Presented by Sir Henry Tate 1894

In The North-West Passage, Millais used a retired sailor named Captain Trelawny for the old mariner.  Trelawny was described affectionately as a “jolly old pirate” and had a colorful past to prove it. The Life and Letters of Sir John Everett Millais, written by the artist’s son, mentions briefly that Trelawny was once abducted by…
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Pre-Raphaelite Sighting in Deception


An exciting new addition to the Unexpected Pre-Raphaelite Sightings page! Thank you to Victoria Osborne for sharing. The 2013 thriller The Best Offer (Deception) stars Geoffrey Rush as an eccentric art auctioneer with a secret collection of portraits of beautiful women – including Burne-Jones’ Vespertina Quies and one of Birmingham Museums’ Rossetti drawings of Fanny Cornforth. Pre-Raphaelite beauties…
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ABC’s Forever


Forever has become a show that our entire family watches together. I love the premise: A 200-year-old man works in the New York City Morgue trying to find a key to unlock the curse of his immortality.  Ioan Gruffud is on point every episode. His character, Henry Morgan, is dapper, elegant, and has a  Sherlockian…
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Alas, poor Wombat…


This week marks the birth of William Shakespeare, so in celebration I shared several Pre-Raphaelite and Shakespeare related links on the Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood Facebook page and Twitter.  I even posted my own “Yorick selfie”. “Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy: he hath borne me on…
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Pre-Raphaelites and the Bard


If you are looking for Shakespeare inspiration today, you are in luck!  Visit for a large collective of bloggers sharing posts in honor of the day! At the end of this post, you will find links to other Pre-Raphaelite images of Shakespearean works on In celebration of the Bard’s birthday, here’s my favorite Shakespearean…
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Celebrating Earth Day


In Modern Painters, John Ruskin urged artists to “go to nature in all singleness of heart… rejecting nothing, selecting nothing and scorning nothing; believing all things to be right and good, and rejoicing always in the truth.” The Pre-Raphaelites and their followers took this advice to heart. In Millais’ Ophelia, for example, we can see…
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#WombatFriday, April 17th


“Do you know the wombat at the Zoo?” asked Rossetti; “a delightful creature — the most comical little beast.” (Memorials of Edward Burne-Jones, Vol. I) Happy #WombatFriday!  This week’s interesting links: From The Kissed Mouth: Photographing Alice (and Ina and Edith) (Yes, that Alice) Becoming Julia, learning wet collodion process photography Via Grumpy Art Historian: Campaigning for…
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Fanny Cornforth in the News


It is thrilling to see Fanny Cornforth in the news this week.  You may remember that recently, #WombatFriday was devoted to the mystery of Fanny Cornforth in honor of Kirsty Stonell Walker’s blog post that shed light on Fanny’s final years. For those of us that follow Pre-Raphaelite news closely, this was this first published…
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The Holy Grail Tapestries


The Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is currently preparing their latest exhibit: Love is Enough: William Morris and Andy Warhol: Love is Enough draws together iconic and rarely seen works by two giants of the 19th and 20th centuries – William Morris and Andy Warhol. The Birmingham showing of this exhibition will see Birmingham Museum…
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Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

This week marks the anniversary of Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s death in 1882.  A founding member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, Rossetti’s works capture his unique view of beauty.  His paintings of women during the latter stage of his life are often criticized for their unusual physical attributions: elongated necks, cupid bow lips, and  languid gazes.  And, of…
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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…
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