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Showing posts from August, 2011

May and Amy: A True Story of Family, Forbidden Love, and the Secret Lives of May Gaskell, Her Daughter Amy, and Sir Edward Burne-Jones

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Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Three Rivers Press (CA); Reprint edition (28 Mar 2006)
Language English
ISBN-10: 0307335895
ISBN-13: 978-0307335890

Always intrigued by Edward Burne-Jones’s portrait of her great-aunt, Amy Gaskell, Josceline Dimbleby’s chance meeting with the painting’s current owner encouraged her to explore the mystery of her own family’s past and the life and death of her beautiful great-aunt.

In her search, Dimbleby uncovered a passionate correspondence between Burne-Jones and her great-grandmother, May Gaskell, Amy’s mother, which continued throughout the last six years of the Pre-Raphaelite painter’s life.

As she delved deeper into their engrossing lives, questions emerged. What was the deep secret May had confided to Edward? And what was the tragic truth behind Amy’s wayward, wandering life, her strange marriage, and her unexplained early death?

Weaving together the threads of this tale, Dimbleby takes us through a turbulent period in English history and visits…

A Review of Tudor biography Henry VIII by David Loades

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Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Amberley (July 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1848685327
ISBN-13: 978-1848685321

A major new biography of the most infamous king of England. 'Means to be God, and do as pleases himself', Martin Luther observed. It was a shrewd comment, not merely on the divorce in which the King was then embroiled, but upon his whole career. Henry VIII was self righteous, and convinced that he enjoyed a special relationship with the Almighty, which gave him a unique claim upon the obedience of his subjects. He subdued the church, sidelined the old nobility, and reorganized the government, all in the name of that Good Lordship which was his God-given responsibility.
As a youth, he was a magnificent specimen of manhood, and in age a gargantuan wreck, but even in his prime he was never the 'ladies man' of legend and his own imagination. Sexual insecurity undermined him and gave him an irascible edge - fatal to Anne Boleyn and Thomas Cromwell. Several tim…

A Review Of Dracula In Love By Karen Essex

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London, 1890. Mina Murray, the rosy-cheeked, quintessentially pure Victorian heroine, becomes Count Dracula’s object of desire. To preserve her chastity, five male “defenders” rush in to rescue her from the vampire’s evil clutches. This is the version of the story we've been told.

But now, from Mina’s own pen, we discover a tale more sensual, more devious, and more enthralling than the Victorians could have ever imagined. From the shadowy banks of the river Thames to the wild and windswept Yorkshire coast, Dracula’s eternal muse—the most famous woman in vampire lore—vividly recounts the joys and terrors of a passionate affair that has linked her and the Count through the centuries, and her rebellion against her own frightening preternatural powers.



He did not speak but I heard his voice in my head and recognized it as the voice from my dream.

The power is yours, Mina. I come to you when you call to me, when I feel your need or desire.
Every moment that has ever existed in time is …

Tales of Farringford on The Isle of Wight Home of Alfred Lord Tennyson

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Farringford, Isle of Wight, Home of Alfred Tennyson



An original Victorian print dated March 22, 1884. This engraving shows Alfred Lord Tennyson, the Poet Laureate, in his study on the Isle of Wight. From a series of prints entitled 'Celebrities of the Day

Farringford
Tennyson first came to the Isle of Wight in 1846 with Edward Moxon to visit James White of Bonchurch.
On that occasion he rowed around the Needles, and found the view unforgettable. He returned to the island in 1849, and again in 1853 when he was on the lookout for a house. He heard of Farringford, and fell in love with the view from the drawing room, which persuaded him to make Farringford his home. He summoned his wife Emily from Twickenham. Her diary records her impressions of that fateful trip to see Farringford for the first time:


'The railway did not go further than Brockhurst then and the steamer, when there was one, from Lymington felt itself in no way bound to wait for the omnibus which brought as many of t…