‘Beggars can’t be choosers. They really can’t.’
Based on true historical events, Arresting Beauty follows the extraordinary story of Mary Ryan, who was found begging on Putney Heath at the age of ten by the celebrated Victorian photographer Julia Margaret Cameron. Julia takes Mary into her magnificently bohemian household, to be trained as a maid and educated alongside her own sons, before becoming an assistant, muse and model for Julia in many of her pioneering photographs.
When Julia decides to move to Freshwater in the Isle of Wight, to live close to her great friend Alfred Tennyson, Mary—clever and rebellious—finds herself uncomfortably poised between two worlds—that of a servant girl in one, and in another, artistic assistant to Julia and befriending the likes of Tennyson, battling class and attitudes of the time to fulfil her own goals and perhaps even find love.
A sparkling historic romance novel based on a true-life story.
ISBN-13 : 9781913894160 (Hardback), 9781913894153 (Paperback), 9781913894177 (eBook)
Publication Date: September 30th 2023
RRP: £20.00 (Hardback), £10.99 (Paperback), £5.99 (eBook)
Thank you to Beachy Books for my digital review copy.
Henry took his leave of Julia and I said I would show him out. When we got to the front door I opened it for him (force of habit) but he suddenly seized my hand and pulled me outside into the dusk and along to the side of the house, away from where anyone could see us, and took me into his arms and began to kiss me,
long kisses full of sweetness and tenderness and passion, with the scent of the first roses around us and the moon rising over the sea. He certainly had proved an apt pupil. When he finally left me, reluctantly and with many whispered farewells and murmurings of just-one-last-kiss, to walk across the fields back to his hotel, I stayed there in the darkness for a while, while my heart slowed back to normal.