We Are Villains All

Synopsis: 1890, Daneburton, Hampshire: Maud Blake, spinster companion to flighty, young Emeline Hutchinson, is the least important woman at the weekly poetry circle. She sits at the back, barely able to see the poet who presides over them all, but she requires only his words to fuel her dreams. For twenty years Max has lived peacefully … Read more

Did Elizabeth Siddal inspire Bram Stoker?

Photograph of Elizabeth Siddal

In the early years of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, artist Walter Deverell discovered Elizabeth Siddal working in a millinery shop.  After modeling for his painting Twelfth Night, Siddal posed for several Pre-Raphaelite painters, including William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais. It was the artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti who was most captivated by her. He drew … Read more

Hide Me Among the Graves

Tim Powers doesn’t write about your run-of-the-mill vampires.  His undead may feed upon you, but in return they will inspire words and poetry that you could never have written before.  I found Powers’ mythology to be a refreshing twist.  In Hide Me Among the Graves, the artistic Rossetti family deals with the vampiric curse of … Read more

Bookish Wombats

Inspired by artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s passion for wombats, every Friday is Wombat Friday at Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood. “The Wombat is a Joy, a Triumph, a Delight, a Madness!” ~ Dante Gabriel Rossetti Well, we’ve reached another #WombatFriday.  I’m currently in the middle of Judith Flanders’ book The Victorian City: Everyday Life in Dickens’ London.  I … Read more

Book review: Ophelia’s Muse

The romance of Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Elizabeth Siddal lends itself well to fiction. It’s a story that has it all: beauty, pathos, and the synergy of artistic creation that flowed between them. Author Rita Cameron’s new book Ophelia’s Muse tells the story of Elizabeth Siddal’s discovery by the Pre-Raphaelite circle and how it led … Read more

Art is a Mirror

Meteyard, Lady of Shalott

When I was fifteen years old, my father taught me how to drive. I was eager, yet scared, and Dad wanted to give me ample opportunity to practice, so we drove together often. He’d pick a destination and I would drive while he critiqued and instructed me. Luckily, he is both an extremely patient man and … Read more

Curiouser and curiouser

Inspired by artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s passion for wombats, every Friday is Wombat Friday at Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood. “The Wombat is a Joy, a Triumph, a Delight, a Madness!” ~ Dante Gabriel Rossetti Tomorrow is Alice’s Day! On the fourth of  July in  1862, Charles Lutwidge Dodson began the tale that would eventually become Alice’s Adventures in … Read more

A Wombat follows the Lover’s Path

Inspired by artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s passion for wombats, every Friday is Wombat Friday at Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood. “The Wombat is a Joy, a Triumph, a Delight, a Madness!” ~ Dante Gabriel Rossetti This week author Kris Waldherr shared a guest post about the Pre-Raphaelites and Venice, a subject dear to her heart and a source … Read more

Book Review: The Lover’s Path

Reading The Lover’s Path is an immersive experience. It is pure, beautiful escapism and although this e-book is read on devices, the notion that you are reading via modern technology quickly fades away and you are transported into 16th Century Venice.  The sheer design of the book is a delight for any bibliophile. Lavishly illustrated, … Read more

Guest Post: Pre-Raphaelites in Venice

I am honored that Kris Waldherr has taken the time to share about the beauty of Venice and its influence on the Pre-Raphaelite circle. That same influence is echoed within the pages of  The Lover’s Path, which I think fellow Pre-Raphaelite enthusiasts will love.  Guest Post: Pre-Raphaelites in Venice by Kris Waldherr “There was never … Read more

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 … Read more

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 … Read more

William Morris and Fantasy

William Morris’ fantasy books resonate with my bibliophile heart. Epic voyages told through folkloric narratives, his fantasies contributed to the birth of the Fantasy genre as we know it. As if that weren’t enough, he presented these works to the world in breathtaking volumes that are the epitome of typography and ornament.   It is his … Read more

The Lost Pre-Raphaelite: The Secret Life & Loves of Robert Bateman

The Lost Pre-Raphaelite is a unique hybrid of biography, mystery, and architectural restoration that is unlike any book I’ve ever read. The book has been compared to A.S. Byatt’s novel Possession and as a devotee of Byatt’s work, I tell you that it lives up to the comparison. When Nigel Daly and his partner Brian Vowles … Read more

Book review: That Summer by Lauren Willig

That Summer was tremendous fun to read, especially if you have an interest in the Pre-Raphaelites.  Lauren Willig adroitly weaves together two tales that take place in two different time periods:  one in 1849, the other in 2009. In 2009, Julia Conley unexpectedly inherits a house outside of London.  Herne Hill is a family home … Read more

Skeletons in the Closet: A Look at Bluebeard

Fatima was painted by Sir Edward Burne-Jones in 1862 and depicts the last wife of Bluebeard, the ancient serial killer who has the bodies of his previous wives hidden away. Written by Charles Perrault, the story of Bluebeard was originally published in 1697. Bluebeard hails from the days when children’s tales were gruesome, often cautionary, tales. … Read more

A Mad, Wicked Folly

I’ve just finished reading Sharon Biggs Waller’s new YA book, A Mad, Wicked Folly and I thoroughly loved every second of it.  I always enjoy seeing Pre-Raphaelite art woven into a fictional setting and in this particular case, it was well-crafted and expertly done. Victoria Darling is a girl born of privilege, yet she is … Read more

Hand and Soul

In 1849, the newly formed Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood decided to start a magazine to help support and explain their artistic perspective.  The Germ had a short run of only four issues,  with the final two issues appearing under the title Art and Poetry: Being Thoughts towards Nature Conducted Principally by Artists. In 1898, an American named … Read more

Review: The Mystery of Princess Louise

Lucinda Hawksley, undeterred by lack of access to certain archives,  has written a riveting account of Princess Louise.   Known as Queen Victoria’s rebellious daughter,  Louise was forward-thinking, artistic and outspoken. Ahead of her time,  Princess Louise proves herself to be a strong and independent woman in spite of her royal constraints. “She is very … Read more

MUSE: A new poetry collection by Dawn Marie Kresan

Elizabeth Siddal still continues to inspire. Dawn Marie Kresan explores multiple aspects of Siddal’s life and legacy in a newly-published poetry collection, Muse. I was unprepared for the depth of emotion Kresan’s work creates. Her expertly crafted poems touch upon Lizzie’s discovery and role as muse to the Pre-Raphaelites.  Several poems include moments of Lizzie’s … Read more