About a year ago, I was lucky enough to acquire a two volume set of The Life and Letters of Sir John Everett Millais, written by his son in 1898. It’s a beautiful set that I’ve longed to own, but was unable to give it the attention it deserves as my husband was still recuperating from a horrible bone infection.
Recently, though, I have begun to tackle them with passion. I transcribed the portions relating to Millais’ painting of Ophelia at http://lizziesiddal.com/portal/ophelia/. And over the weekend, I thought it would be a brilliant idea to transcribe the chapter devoted to the formation of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. An entire chapter. Several paragraphs in and it occurred to me that this huge chunk of text might be too overwhelming for the reader if I posted it as a blog post and decided I should create a separate page for it here on the site.
Then, because these things always happen when it is most inconvenient, my laptop crashed. Particularly vexing as I just replaced the harddrive in August. Not to be daunted, I figured that while my laptop was in the shop, I would continue with my transcription using my smartphone. Not the brightest of ideas, since it means I’m only using two fingers and its taking a very long time. It is taking a while, but I’ve done too much to stop now. As a bonus, though, I realized that through all of this I am absorbing the text in a deeper way. Or perhaps I am just a bit bonkers, because I do realize that to someone who doesn’t know me, choosing to do something so tedious might seem strange. Is it odd that I enjoy copying out 19th century text?