Monday, December 28, 2015

My favorite novels of 2015~Spanning the ages!

It has been a little while since I have chosen my end of year top favorite novels. The ones that have stayed with me and have had a hard time forgetting!  In no particular order.

My criteria is pretty basic:  
It must be descriptive yet beautifully written.
The characters must speak to me in some way.
The storyline or lines (dual era novels) must not only be believable but well researched with a most convincing plot. 
Time and place seem to disappear and all I am left with as a reader is enrapture for the story itself. 

Hardcover, 384 pages
Published March 17th 2015 by Atria Books (first published March 1st 2015)
ISBN 147677806X 
 
DESCRIPTION
Possession. Power. Passion. New York Times bestselling novelist M. J. Rose creates her most provocative and magical spellbinder yet in this gothic novel set against the lavish spectacle of 1890s Belle Époque Paris.

Sandrine Salome flees New York for her grandmother’s Paris mansion to escape her dangerous husband, but what she finds there is even more menacing. The house, famous for its lavish art collection and elegant salons, is mysteriously closed up. Although her grandmother insists it’s dangerous for Sandrine to visit, she defies her and meets Julien Duplessi, a mesmerizing young architect. Together they explore the hidden night world of Paris, the forbidden occult underground and Sandrine’s deepest desires.

Among the bohemians and the demi-monde, Sandrine discovers her erotic nature as a lover and painter. Then darker influences threaten—her cold and cruel husband is tracking her down and something sinister is taking hold, changing Sandrine, altering her. She’s become possessed by La Lune: A witch, a legend, and a sixteenth-century courtesan, who opens up her life to a darkness that may become a gift or a curse.

This is Sandrine’s “wild night of the soul,” her odyssey in the magnificent city of Paris, of art, love, and witchery.
 
MY REVIEW 
Within the pages of The Witch of Painted Sorrows by MJ Rose you will find Sandrine Salome a married woman with no understanding or experience of romantic love who has lived a 'passionless' married existence. In order to understand her reasons for leaving New York City to go to her grandmother's home in Paris, France, you will need to meet La Lune. I don't want to give away too much but Sandrine's journey of self-discovery will thrust her into a world of occult ridden Belle Epoque Paris. The question remains who does she become and will she survive?

If you enjoy the artists of Belle Epoque Paris, i.e. Gustave Moreau, Ecole des Beaux Arts, parisian mansions, sexy handsome men and a grandmother who is let's say anything but dowdy, then my friends you will definitely enjoy The Witch of Painted Sorrows. Sandrine's romantic suitor, Julien Duplessi is a fellow art lover, living in a parisian mansion with every interest in getting to know the beautiful and shy Sandrine. Against her grandmother's warnings, what follows is a tale so beautifully written with erotic scenes of lovemaking and what is thought to be true passion could be veiled by a sinister ghostly spirit named La Lune
 
 
  Hardcover, 593 pages 
 Published October 20th 2015
by Atria Books 
 
DESCRIPTION
Living on her family’s idyllic lakeside estate in Cornwall, England, Alice Edevane is a bright, inquisitive, innocent, and precociously talented sixteen-year-old who loves to write stories. But the mysteries she pens are no match for the one her family is about to endure…

One midsummer’s eve, after a beautiful party drawing hundreds of guests to the estate has ended, the Edevanes discover that their youngest child, eleven-month-old Theo, has vanished without a trace. What follows is a tragedy that tears the family apart in ways they never imagined.

Decades later, Alice is living in London, having enjoyed a long successful career as an author. Theo’s case has never been solved, though Alice still harbors a suspicion as to the culprit. Miles away, Sadie Sparrow, a young detective in the London police force, is staying at her grandfather’s house in Cornwall. While out walking one day, she stumbles upon the old estate—now crumbling and covered with vines, clearly abandoned long ago. Her curiosity is sparked, setting off a series of events that will bring her and Alice together and reveal shocking truths about a past long gone...yet more present than ever.
 
 
MY REVIEW
Beginning in 1933, you will meet separately and as a family together, the Edevane family presiding at their ancestral home, 'Loeanneth' in Cornwall, England. Sixteen year old Alice Edevane is the main protagonist living with her two sisters Deborah and Clemmie, youngest eighteenth month old brother Theo and parents Eleanor and Anthony. This family dynamic is vitally important because Kate Morton juxtaposes shades of similarities between real life Alice Liddell and her sisters Lorina and Edith Liddell. For instance, you will meet older man friend of The Edevane family Mr. Llellwyn who again reminds me very much of Rev. Charles Dodgson who was family friend of the Liddell family. He became author Lewis Carroll of Alice in Wonderland. Just pay close attention to the happenings of The Edevane Family living in their manor house in Cornwall during and after that party they had one Midsummer Eve in 1933 when their brother Theo disappeared never to be seen again!

Skip ahead to the second storyline in 2003 (present day) where we meet police detective sargaent Sadie Sparrow who visits her grandfather in Cornwall only to discover an abandoned manor house. She is strangely attracted to it. Remember that old saying, 'curiousity killed the cat'? Well, perhaps D.S. Sparrow should have listened to her own instincts!

Enter into the frame, a grown up, aged, Alice Edevane, now a successful crime writer using the pen name A.C. Edevane. When Sadie writes to her requesting an interview, Alice immediately knows it's about her missing brother Theo. What happens next will awaken The Edevane Family secret which may or not have been laying dormant for seventy years.
  
 
Kindle Edition, 407 pages
Published May 5th 2015 by NAL
ASIN B00O2BS44W
 
DESCRIPTION
 Beset by crippling headaches from a young age and endowed with a talent for drawing, Sophia is discouraged by her well-known New England family from pursuing a woman’s traditional roles. But from their first meeting, Nathaniel and Sophia begin an intense romantic relationship that despite many setbacks leads to their marriage. Together, they will cross continents, raise children, and experience all the beauty and tragedy of an exceptional partnership. Sophia’s vivid journals and her masterful paintings kindle a fire in Nathaniel, inspiring his writing. But their children’s needs and the death of loved ones steal Sophia’s energy and time for her art, fueling in her a perennial tug-of-war between fulfilling her domestic duties and pursuing her own desires.

Spanning the years from the 1830s to the Civil War, and moving from Massachusetts to England, Portugal, and Italy, The House of Hawthorne explores the tension within a famous marriage of two soulful, strong-willed people, each devoted to the other but also driven by a powerful need to explore the far reaches of their creative impulses. It is the story of a forgotten woman in history, who inspired one of the greatest writers of American literature.…
 
MY REVIEW
The tone of the novel, 'The House of Hawthorne' was set from the very first page with the appearance of, Lift Not The Painted Veil by Percy Bysshe Shelley. This is a story of the meeting of two soul mates. Two artistic/creative people; one author and one painter who are attracted to each other soul to soul. It is an inner connection they share more intensely than purely physical attraction. Throughout the novel, Keats' Endymion is mentioned between Sophia Peabody the soon to be Mrs. Hawthorne and her sisters. Having been published in 1818, both Nathaniel and Sophia would have grown up reading the poem and most likely relating to its soul connection story. 

Being a romantic at heart, immediately I found myself recognizing the soul connection creative mentions. The writing style is intelligent and beautiful. Erika Robuck brings both Sophia and Nathaniel to life. It is nineteenth-century Americana at its best. From Salem, Massachusetts and Concord, Massachusetts, the reader begins to understand the personalities of Nathaniel and Sophia. I found myself reading whole chapters out loud. Especially, when Sophia and Nathaniel were meeting, talking together inside candlelit rooms, walking through snowy New England he in a black cloak and she in a warm coat. 


Hardcover, 384 pages
Published March 17th 2015 by William Morrow 
 ISBN 0062356402
 
DESCRIPTION
Born into rural poverty, Gabrielle Chanel and her siblings are sent to orphanage after their mother’s death. The sisters nurture Gabrielle’s exceptional sewing skills, a talent that will propel the willful young woman into a life far removed from the drudgery of her childhood.

Transforming herself into Coco—a seamstress and sometime torch singer—the petite brunette burns with ambition, an incandescence that draws a wealthy gentleman who will become the love of her life. She immerses herself in his world of money and luxury, discovering a freedom that sparks her creativity. But it is only when her lover takes her to Paris that Coco discovers her destiny.

Rejecting the frilly, corseted silhouette of the past, her sleek, minimalist styles reflect the youthful ease and confidence of the 1920s modern woman. As Coco’s reputation spreads, her couturier business explodes, taking her into rarefied society circles and bohemian salons. But her fame and fortune cannot save her from heartbreak as the years pass. And when Paris falls to the Nazis, Coco is forced to make choices that will haunt her.
 
MY REVIEW 
  In, ‘Mademoiselle Chanel’ you will meet little Gabrielle born to loving parents who ends up orphaned in a rural French convent. Her one saving grace is the fact that she could sew most any pattern, given her, almost to perfection. C.W. Gortner captures the little girl lost inside the woman whose life becomes as unpredictable as she was. Broken up chapters into five acts covering 1895-1945, ‘Mademoiselle Chanel’ highlights her most pivotal years graced by the author’s beautiful writing style.

As Gabrielle grows up, C.W. Gortner focuses on her male relationships, friendships, lovers and loves lost showing us the dichotomy between the innocent girl and the independent woman who stands on her own truly finding her own way in the world. Gortner makes Gabrielle likable but not pitiful. The reader begins to understand why and how fashion would become her salvation. However, if you are expecting numerous fashion, clothing or fabric descriptive chapters they are not here in abundance. The Mademoiselle Chanel that author, C.W. Gortner writes about and brings to life is the rural French girl who falls in love with sewing to become Coco Chanel the world’s most beloved fashion designer. This is not the novelized biography of the already famous Coco Chanel. It is instead a breathtaking story of the woman behind the icon and I for one am thankful to have read it.

If you want to meet the real woman behind the designer and find out about her early life and most life changing events that shaped her into Coco Chanel, then this is the novel for you. 
 
 Hardcover, 400 pages
Published March 24th 2015 by Touchstone
ISBN1476756376 
 
DESCRIPTION
 The next page-turner in the award-winning Joanna Stafford series takes place in the heart of the Tudor court, as the gutsy former novice risks everything to defy the most powerful men of her era.

After her Dominican priory in Dartford closed forever—collateral damage in tyrannical King Henry VIII’s quest to overthrow the Catholic Church—Joanna resolves to live a quiet and honorable life weaving tapestries, shunning dangerous quests and conspiracies. Until she is summoned to Whitehall Palace, where her tapestry weaving has drawn the King’s attention.

Joanna is uncomfortable serving the King, and fears for her life in a court bursting with hidden agendas and a casual disregard for the virtues she holds dear. Her suspicions are confirmed when an assassin attempts to kill her moments after arriving at Whitehall.

Struggling to stay ahead of her most formidable enemy yet, an unknown one, she becomes entangled in dangerous court politics. Her dear friend Catherine Howard is rumored to be the King’s mistress. Joanna is determined to protect young, beautiful, naïve Catherine from becoming the King’s next wife and, possibly, victim.

Set in a world of royal banquets and feasts, tournament jousts, ship voyages, and Tower Hill executions, this thrilling tale finds Joanna in her most dangerous situation yet, as she attempts to decide the life she wants to live: nun or wife, spy or subject, rebel or courtier. Joanna Stafford must finally choose.
 
MY REVIEW
I have read and enjoyed The Crown and The Chalice, the two novels that precede this one. The Tapestry remains my favorite.  
Joanna Stafford is such an intelligent and strong character full of conviction.  I really enjoy how Nancy Bilyeau brilliantly brings her again to life. Joanna is a Dominican nun that nobody wants to mess with! Well, she finds herself in a mess of trouble including a murder attempt that begins the novel. 
 The Tapestry is so deftly written with red herrings, plot twists, humor, and is a real edge of your seat thriller
I loved finidng myself in the Tudor era under the reign of King Henry VIII and all the mischief that occurs there.
 

Monday, December 21, 2015

My review of The House of Hawthorne by Erika Robuck

The unlikely marriage between Nathaniel Hawthorne, the celebrated novelist, and Sophia Peabody, the invalid artist, was a true union of passion and intellect.…
 
Beset by crippling headaches from a young age and endowed with a talent for drawing, Sophia is discouraged by her well-known New England family from pursuing a woman’s traditional roles. But from their first meeting, Nathaniel and Sophia begin an intense romantic relationship that despite many setbacks leads to their marriage. Together, they will cross continents, raise children, and experience all the beauty and tragedy of an exceptional partnership. Sophia’s vivid journals and her masterful paintings kindle a fire in Nathaniel, inspiring his writing. But their children’s needs and the death of loved ones steal Sophia’s energy and time for her art, fueling in her a perennial tug-of-war between fulfilling her domestic duties and pursuing her own desires.

Spanning the years from the 1830s to the Civil War, and moving from Massachusetts to England, Portugal, and Italy, The House of Hawthorne explores the tension within a famous marriage of two soulful, strong-willed people, each devoted to the other but also driven by a powerful need to explore the far reaches of their creative impulses. It is the story of a forgotten woman in history, who inspired one of the greatest writers of American literature.…

Hardcover, 416 pages
Published May 5th 2015 by NAL
ISBN 0451418913
 
 Endymion by G.F. Watts, 1891, Watts Gallery


Lift not the painted veil which those who live
By Percy Bysshe Shelley
Lift not the painted veil which those who live
Call Life: though unreal shapes be pictured there,
And it but mimic all we would believe
With colours idly spread,--behind, lurk Fear
And Hope, twin Destinies; who ever weave
Their shadows, o'er the chasm, sightless and drear.
I knew one who had lifted it--he sought,
For his lost heart was tender, things to love,
But found them not, alas! nor was there aught
The world contains, the which he could approve.
Through the unheeding many he did move,
A splendour among shadows, a bright blot
Upon this gloomy scene, a Spirit that strove
For truth, and like the Preacher found it not.


Nathaniel Hawthorne daguerreotype, 1848                   Sophia Hawthorne (Peabody) 1861

 My musings are interrupted when I behold a dark figure against the white. He is tall, and his top hat makes him seem more so. He walks with a strange, hesitant gait, almost as if he must coerce his feet to do his bidding. An impressive black cloak moves around him, and he looks like he would be more at home in the night than in the brightness of day. When he draws near the house, he pauses and he looks up at my window, the light illuminating his pale face and chestnut hair that is long on his collar. 
Nathaniel Hawthorne.
His eyes meet mine and hold my gaze for what must be only seconds, but when I draw back from the window and note the heat on my brow, it is as if I have been sitting at a fireside for many hours. I drop onto my sewing chair and glance around the room, my little sanctuary. My paints rest gaily on the easel; my artwork leans against walls and furniture; my books lie atop one another on desktops and bureaus. My eyes find a paper sticking out from the volume of Shelley I had been reading, and I reach for it. I know this paper-it is my poem "To the Unknown Yet Known." A voice in my head tells me that my soul knew something that I did not when I wrote of my love, a man of letters I conjured, the shadowy figure of an artist, the only man who would do for a fellow creative like me.

The tone of the novel, 'The House of Hawthorne' was set from the very first page with the appearance of,  Lift Not The Painted Veil by Percy Bysshe Shelley. This is a story of the meeting of two soul mates. Two artistic/creative people; one author and one painter who are attracted to each other soul to soul. It is an inner connection they share more intensely than purely physical attraction.  Throughout the novel, Keats' Endymion is mentioned between Sophia Peabody the soon to be Mrs. Hawthorne and her sisters. Having been published in 1818, both Nathaniel and Sophia would have grown up reading the poem and most likely relating to its soul connection story. 

The House of Hawthorne is written from protagonist, Sophia Peabody's perspective. Mrs. Hawthorne, narrates her love story and life with husband, Nathaniel Hawthorne.  The story begins cleverly with an introduction where an elderly and frail Sophia Peabody looks through her Cuba Journal and remembers a life before she met Nathaniel.

Being a romantic at heart, immediately I found myself recognizing the soul connection creative mentions. The writing style is intelligent and beautiful. Erika Robuck brings both Sophia and Nathaniel to life. It is nineteenth-century Americana at its best. From Salem, Massachusetts and Concord, Massachusetts, the reader begins to understand the personalities of Nathaniel and Sophia. I found myself reading whole chapters out loud. Especially, when Sophia and Nathaniel were meeting, talking together inside candlelit rooms, walking through snowy New England he in a black cloak and she in a warm coat.  

The research is impeccably done. From locations to bringing in real life names of the homes Mr. and Mrs. Hawthorne shared together once finally wed. The Old Manse and The Wayside survive today and can be visited. The author, used excerpts from Nathaniel Hawthorne's letters to Sophia. He really did call her, Dove, in letters and when together. She too kept journals throughout their life together. They wed and had three children included in The House of Hawthorne. She outlived her Nathaniel and had her children keep both their journals for prosperity now housed in museums. It reminded me so much of the relationship between Emily and Alfred Tennyson. As Emily preserved Alfred's letters and her journals but that is a different story. It just made me understand Sophia's possible reasons all the more. 

I love how throughout Sophia's dialogues she always called him, Nathaniel. She loved saying his full first name. It may seem repetitive in sentence form in the novel but romantically I understand why she did this. He always just called her Dove

Let's be honest, I could ramble on about this romantic true based story forever but I won't. I can tell you that Erika Robuck did not alter the real life history of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Sophia Peabody to write The House of Hawthorne and for that I applaud her. I am a fan of the author and will read more of her novels. I loved the mention of other nineteenth-century American writers of the day as well. For instance, The Alcotts, Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson and more. I hope everyone who loves a romance and intelligent writing will give this one a try. I am so happy I did.


Sunday, December 20, 2015

Kindle Sale: The Witness by Kevin Marsh!

The first novel I read by Author, Kevin Marsh was a thriller called, The Witness. It takes place in Scotland which immediately attracted me but it was the fast paced story that kept me turning pages!  Now, for a limited time, the kindle version of, The Witness is on sale in the UK for  £1.99.


Landscape artist Josie MacDonald is coming to the end of her stay in Scotland. Whilst out on a painting trip early one morning she witnesses a horrific murder. Mr Mac, the deranged killer, is aware that she has seen him at work and sets out to kill her but Josie manages to escape by plunging desperately into the North Sea. Mr Mac, convinced that she has perished, discovers a few days later that she has survived and sets out to track her down. He follows her to London where he subjects her to terrible psychological torment as one by one her friends are drawn into the nightmare. Josie returns to Scotland in order to discover the truth where her worst fears are realised. With time running out and a killer on the loose she must survive long enough to bring their horrifying ordeal to an end.

 


Product details
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 937 KB
  • Print Length: 334 pages
  • Publisher: Paragon Publishing (Rothersthorpe) (4 Aug. 2013)

If you are still not convinced read my review,
 I thoroughly enjoyed 'The Witness' by Kevin Marsh. It is such a well written and engrossing story. It starts off dramatically and does not let you down as the story progresses. As you get to know the characters, I found them 'all' likeable! I know, even the killer known as 'Mr. Mac' is written with such realistic psychological insight, that I couldn't hate him. I didn't pity him either, which is a true credit to the writing of the author. Instead, I wanted to find out what made him tick and why he targeted Josie. Of course, the reader knows most of the why or at least we think we do!

So, to buy the very affordable kindle of The Witness, Amazon UK  

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

For My Best Beloved Sister Mia: An Album of Photographs by Julia Margaret Cameron

Maria Jackson (nee Pattle) (1818-1892) 
This is Julia Maraget Cameron's sister Mia.
This photographis not in The Mia Album.

I am now the proud owner of The Mia Album. Once it arrived and I looked through it, I couldn't stop smiling. I just had to share some of the photographs of Julia Margaret Cameron herself along with her sons, and others. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do! First of course, a little brief history...

Mia (Maria) Jackson was one of the three Pattle sisters (Julia Margaret Cameron was born Julia Margaret Pattle). Her descendants are perhaps most notable. For instance, her grandchildren included: Gerald Duckworth, the publisher, Vanessa Bell, the painter, and Virginia Woolf, the writer. 

In 1863 Julia Margaret Cameron gave her sister Mia a photograph album. It was bound in green leather. On the front were mounted the letters MIA in brass.
This album contains works by Julia Margaret Cameron as well as her friend, photographer Oscar Gustave Rejlander (1813-1875). Rejlander started his career as a portrait-painter in Rome. In 1852 he moved to England, settling in Lincoln. He took lessons in photographic technique in 1853 and opened a studio in Wolverhampton in 1855. His work was admired by both Julia Margaret Cameron and Lewis Carroll to whom he assisted upon their request. 

You will also see photographs by Lord Somers who was Charles Somers-Cocks, Viscount Eastnor, 3rd Earl Somers. He was married to Virginia Pattle, one of Mrs. Cameron's sisters.  As a young boy he wanted to be a painter. His mother wasn't having it so he decided upon photography instead. He eventually became Vice President of the Photographic Society of London. Lord Somers was brother-in-law to Julia Margaret Cameron and he was instrumental in helping her stage several of her photographic exhibitions. For six years he was a Member of Parliament and a Lord in waiting to Queen Victoria.

Inscription The Mia Album in Julia Margaret Cameron's handwriting

At the Well by Oscar Gustave Rejlander, 1864.
Taken at Dimbola, Freshwater. The group includes Julia's son Hardinge Hay Cameron
standing far left against the ladder. 
The Alderson sisters, Dimbola staff and maids standing to the right.
 
 Mrs. Cameron (Julia Margaret in black shawl) and her staff receiving letters from the postman
by Lord Somers (attributed) 1863-5
Mary Ryan is second to the left of Julia Margaret Cameron.

Mrs. Cameron(far left wearing black shawl) and her maids
receiving letters from the postman by Lord Somers (attributed)
1863-5, Freshwater. 
Mary Ryan is standing far right smiling directly into camera

 Julia Margaret Cameron's grandmother, Madame de l'Etang in old age
Reproduction of a drawing by G.F. Watts. Unknown date.
 Julia Margaret Cameron's sons Charles and Henry Cameron by Lord Somers (attributed)
1863-5
 Left to Right: Julia's son Henry Herschel Hay cameron, Arthur Prinsep(?), Julia's son Charles Hay Cameron, and Valentine Prinsep (painter) by unknown photographer possibly Lord Somers, 1860. 
Val and Arthur were the second and third sons of Thoby and Sarah Prinsep. Val was later to become a painter and writer. Arthur became a general in the Bengal Cavalry.

 Mrs. Cameron (Julia Margaret) receives a salute from her son Henry Herschel Hay Cameron,
 Freshwater, 1863-5, by Oscar Rejlander or Lord Somers

 Virginia Dalyrimple by O.G. Rejlander or Lewis Carroll, 1860-3
Virginia was the daughter of Sophia,Mrs. Cameron's youngest sister and Sir John Dalyrimple.
She later married Sir Francis Champneys.

My Cameron Clan by Lord Somers (attributed), 1863-5. 
Left to Right: Julia's four sons-Charles, Ewen, Hardinge and Henry Hay Cameron

 
Julia Margaret Cameron's sons, Henry and Charles Cameron, 1860, unknown photographer, possibly Lord Somers.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Julia Margaret Cameron at 200 Conference & Symposium

With the Julia Margaret Cameron photograph exhibit currently underway in London at V&A Museum, I wanted to share the news of an  upcoming 'Cameron' themed conference.

Julia Margaret Cameron at 200 
Conference & Symposium
Fri - 15 January, 2016- 10:00-17:15
The Lydia and Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre
£35, £30 concessions, £15 students

This one-day conference will present new research on the pioneering photographer Julia Margaret Cameron's social, religious, colonial and artistic contexts. International speakers will explore themes such as Cameron’s experimental techniques and exchanges with other artists and her lasting impact and relevance for contemporary practitioners. The details of the day are as follows:


 Programme

10.00 -10.30 Coffee and Registration
10.30 Welcome and Introduction, Matilda Pye, Department of Learning

New Research
Marta Weiss, Curator of Photographs, V&A
Erika Lederman, Researcher, V&A

11.15 Chance. Robin Kelsey, Shirley Carter Burden Professor of Photography, Department of History of Art and Architecture, Harvard University
11.45 Little Holland House. Barbara Bryant, Independent Scholar

12.15 Discussion

13.00 Lunch Break

14.00 Religion. Joanne Lukitsh, Professor, Massachusetts College of Art and Design
14.30 Class and Colonialism. Juliet Hacking, Programme Director, MA Photography, Sotheby’s Institute
15.00 The Herschel Album. Colin Ford, Founding Director of Bradford in conversation with Martin Barnes, Senior Curator of Photographs, V&A

15.45 Refreshments

16.10 Legacies.
Cameron and Sri Lanka. Sunara Begum, Visual-Anthro-Mythologist
Cameron and Dimbola Lodge. Tracy Shields, Screenwriter

17.00 Closing Remarks

17.15 Close

To purchase tickets and for more information, V&A Museum

Also, I wanted to share two photographs one of Julia Margaret Cameron at her piano, with her son, and one of her husband Charles Hay Cameron. You will notice on Charles' photograph taped above and below it is a newspaper article about his death from 1880. I have typed it up verbatim below, so anyone inteterested can read it.

 Julia Margaret Cameron at the piano, with her son, albumen print, 1863, by Oscar Gustave Rejlander
  This photograph was taken at Julia Margaret Cameron's home Dimbola Lodge, Freshwater Bay, Isle of Wight

Charles Hay Cameron photographed by his wife Julia Margaret Cameron, 
a head and shoulder portrait against a cloth background, albumen print,
 
 DEATH OF CHARLES HAY CAMERON,

Esq. 1880

Very many of our readers will share our regret on learning of the death at Nuwara Eliya on Saturday last of this veteran Anglo-Indian civilian, whose name has been so closely connected with the administrative history of Ceylon. More than half-a-century has elapsed since Mr. Cameron and Lieut. Colonel Colebrooke arrived from Madras as Commissioners of Enquiry appointed to report upon all matters connected with the administration of the Government of the Island. Their full and able reports constituted the basis of most important reforms, including the establishment of Executive and Legislative Councils, and the promulgation of a new Charter of Justice for the Colony based chiefly on Mr. Cameron’s report and suggestions which dealt specially with the judicial system. Had Mr. Cameron’s work been done in the present day, he would have been decorated and rapidly promoted, but in the “days of old,” prior to the advent of mail-steamers, railways, telegraphs, and a ubiquitous press, “out of sight” was too often “out of mind.” As we have said, however, Mr. Cameron’s name should ever be held in high esteem in this Island both on account of his good works and of his own high personal character. It will be remembered that Mr. and Mrs. Cameron gave up their home in the Isle of Wight to come to Ceylon, the adopted land of several sons, in November 1875, Mr. Cameron being then in his 80th year. After a couple of years’ residence a visit to the old country was paid, and in November 1878 Mr. and Mrs. Cameron again returned to Ceylon. Very shortly after, Mrs. Cameron was struck down in Jan. 1879, under circumstances which will be fresh in the memory of our readers, and now the aged veteran has been called to follow his life-long companion, “his own end “being as peaceful and calm” as the sorrowing relatives who watched over him could have desired. Mr. Cameron’s remains have been conveyed from Nuwara Eliya to the Bogawantalawa Churchyard and interred bedside those of Mrs. Cameron.

Bogawantalawa Church, (Ceylon) now Sri Lanka

Graves of Charles Hay Cameron and Julia Margaret Cameron buried behind Bogawantalawa Church,
 Sri Lanka

Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Belle of Amherst by William Luce - A one woman play about the life of Emily Dickinson (December 10,1830-May 15,1886)



The Belle of Amherst was a one woman play by William Luce based upon the life of American poet Emily Dickinson (December 10, 1830-May 15, 1886). It is set in her home at Amherst, Massachusetts now a museum. The play opened on April 28, 1976 in New York City, on Broadway at Longacre Theatre. The play takes references from sources such as her diaries and letters, her encounters with significant people of the time. In it, Emily mentions her family, her friends, close acquaintainces. It covers her years of seclusion as well as times of joy.


Here below in its entirety is the 1976 live production of The Belle of Amherst starring Julie Harris. 

Lincoln In The Bardo by George Saunders: A Review!

On February 22, 1862, two days after his death, Willie Lincoln was laid to rest in a marble crypt in a Georgetown cemetery. That very nigh...