This is what Pre-Raphaelite obsession leads to

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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 insane, 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?

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5 thoughts on “This is what Pre-Raphaelite obsession leads to

  1. I’m very interested in how Millais’s version of the formation of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood compares to that of William Holman Hunt.

  2. I’m very interested in how Millais’s version of the formation of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood compares to that of William Holman Hunt.

    • I’m so glad you said that, as it is one of the reasons I’m doing this. I’d like to compare the different accounts of Millais, Hunt and William Michael Rossetti.

  3. Your conclusions will be very interesting because Holman Hunt’s account (written down about half a century after the events and while most of the other people involved were already dead) has been debated for ages. Please keep us posted.

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