Recent Visitor Email:

Hi Stephanie,

I have been looking some more at the connections between some of the sisterhood and the society in which they lived.

What is the connection between Queen Victoria and the Sisterhood?

Queen Victoria’s home on the Isle of Wight off the south coast of England, Osbourne House, was one of many country houses and small estates there, owned and frequented by leading figures in Victorian society. The social circle on the Isle of Wight at the time included Tennyson, inspiration for the PRB artists, and Julia Margaret Cameron. Tennyson as well as a poet, was an amateur astronomer and he was acquainted with astronomer John Herschel who named the moons of Saturn and Uranus, who refined the photographic process and first used the words ‘photography, positive and negative’, that were to become the passion of Julia Margaret Cameron. New discoveries of planets and moons in the Solar System were the inspiration for the composer Holst in the Planets suite, Holst was an early and passionate socialist with compatriat William Morris, and Holst wrote the music for the Christmas carol ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’, the words of which were by Christina Rosetti.

Just as to look at the life of Lizzie Siddal in isolation misses some of her contribution and influence over the PRB and Sisterhood, so looking at the Sisterhood in isolation misses some of the richness and insights to be gleaned from understanding the social, industrial, scientific and political environment extant in Victorian society.

Justification I think, for the inclusion of a link or music on your website such as the first of those below.

‘In the Bleak Midwinter’ is not just a favorite Christmas carol; to look behind it leads to a wealth of connections to Victorian society, the Sisterhood, their friends and acquaintances, and to Lizzie Siddal.

Regards, etc.


In The Bleak Midwinter links:

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