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Getting to know Elizabeth Eleanor Siddall on her birthday: (July 25, 1829-February 11, 1862)

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 Elizabeth Eleanor Siddall  Title Miniature Portrait of Elizabeth Siddall Date 1860-61; 1963 Creator Dante Gabriel Rossetti; George C. Williamson Description This delicate, palm-sized portrait sits encased in a jeweled frame made of gold, bowenite, opal, diamonds, and star sapphires. The object was given to The Walters Art Museum in 1963 with a large collection of portrait miniatures. Unlike a traditional painted miniature, this piece is a black and white photograph—likely a carte-de-visite—overpainted in gouache. The first photograph of the object included in our gallery shows the front of the framed photograph. A three-quarter length portrait of a figure sits before a dark blue background, head turned slightly to the left, with her eyes downcast and her hands clasped. A light red shawl is draped around her shoulders and held in place with her hands, partially obscuring a brown striped dress. White accents draw our eyes to her sleeves and the frill at her neck, where a brooch is faste

An early review of The House of Fortune by Jessie Burton

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Alive with the magic of 18th-century Amsterdam, an enchanting, fantastical stand-alone companion novel to the sensational  New York Times  bestseller  The Miniaturist,  which has sold over two million copies worldwide. Amsterdam in the year 1705. It is Thea Brandt's eighteenth birthday. She is ready to welcome adulthood with open arms, but life at home is increasingly difficult. Her father Otto and her Aunt Nella argue endlessly over their financial fate, selling off furniture in a desperate attempt to hold on to the family home. As catastrophe threatens to engulf the household, Thea seeks refuge in Amsterdam's playhouses. She loves the performances, and the stolen moments afterwards are even better. In the backrooms of her favorite theater, Thea can spend a few precious minutes with her secret lover, Walter, the chief set-painter, a man adept at creating the perfect environments for comedies and tragedies to flourish. The thrill of their hidden romance offers Thea an exciting

Review: HOW WE MIGHT LIVE: AT HOME WITH JANE AND WILLIAM MORRIS By Suzanne Fagence Cooper

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  For the first time, a joint biography of William Morris and his creative partner and wife, Jane Morris. William Morris – poet, designer, campaigner, hero of the Arts & Crafts movement – was a giant of the Victorian age. His beautiful creations and provocative philosophies are still with us today: but his wife Jane is too often relegated to a footnote, an artist’s model given no history or personality of her own. In truth, Jane and William's personal and creative partnership was the central collaboration of both their lives. The homes they made together – at Red House, Kelmscott Manor and in London – were gathering places for artists, writers and radical thinkers. Through their domestic life and the things they collected and made, Jane and William explored how we all might live a life more focused on beauty and fulfillment. As William said, ‘The secret of true happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life’. In  How We Might Live , Suzanne Fagence

A Review of The Chosen by Elizabeth Lowry

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Who pays the price of a writer's fame ? One Wednesday morning in November 1912, the aging Thomas Hardy, entombed by paper and books and increasingly estranged from his wife Emma, finds her dying in her bedroom. Between his speaking to her and taking her in his arms, she is gone. In the aftermath of his shattering loss, he comes across a set of diaries that Emma had secretly kept about their life together and he discovers what she had truly felt about their marriage. By turns tender, surprising, comic and true, The Chosen hauntingly searches the unknowable spaces between husband and wife and regret, life and art.     Hardcover ,  304 pages Published April 14th 2022 by Riverrun - Quercus Books Immediately, what I love about The Chosen is the cover. The woman on the cover is a portrait of the real first Mrs. Hardy, Emma Lavinia GIfford herself. A stroke of genius for a cover as ever I saw one. He doesn't remember that time. I am an irrelevance, a clog on his real life. He forgets

Newly Discovered Charlotte Bronte mini book: A Book of Rhymes by Charlotte Bronte - December 1829

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The title page of  A Book of Rhymes  by Charlotte Brontë. Images credit: James Cummins Bookseller. The contents page of  A Book of Rhymes  by Charlotte Brontë. Images credit: James Cummins Bookseller. TAKEN FROM ANTIQUES TRADE GAZETTE website: A Book of Ryhmes, a  15-page manuscript smaller than a playing card, is a collection of 10 poems written by Brontë at the age of 13, stitched in its original brown paper covers and dated December 1829. The manuscript is well known in the world of Brontë scholarship: a mention appears in Mrs Gaskell’s  Life of Charlotte Brontë  (1857), from the transcription of Charlotte’s own handwritten catalogue of the books she wrote in 1829 and 1830. The titles of the 10 poems have been known, but the poems themselves have never been published, photographed, transcribed or even summarised. Ann Dinsdale, principal curator of the Brontë Parsonage Museum, said: “It is always emotional when an item belonging to the family is returned home and this final little bo

Review: Little Wing by Freya North

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  The story of two families over three generations. A novel about resilience, forgiveness and the true meaning of family, about finding one's place in the world and discovering how we all belong somewhere and to someone. Little Wing  is the powerful story of two families over three generations. In the 1960s, a pregnant 16-year-old is banished to one of the remotest parts of the UK. Years later, Nell and Dougie are both at critical moments in their lives when their paths cross. Between Camden, Colchester and the Outer Hebrides, the three story lines collide when secrets are uncovered and answers sought. Little Wing  i s a novel about resilience, forgiveness and the true meaning of family, about finding one's place in the world and discovering how we all belong somewhere and to someone. Publisher:  Welbeck Publishing Group   ISBN:  9781787397606   Number of pages:  400   Dimensions:  234  x  153  mm Had her mother navigated the ankle twisting trudge along the tracks which clung,

The funeral of Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Remembrances (April 9 & 14, 1882)

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Dante Gabriel Rossetti - Pre-Raphaelite painter and poet He is not a prophet, but an artist; yet an artist who, by the very intensity of his artistic vision, and by some inborn bent toward symbol and mysticism, stands on the side of those who see in material things a spiritual significance, and utters words of universal meaning from the fullness of his own heart. (William Morris, Arts & Crafts Movement, describing Dante Gabriel Rossetti)         As Dante Gabriel Rossetti's health was declining, his brother William wanted a death mask made, so he asked a man from Brucciari's to come to Gabriel's bungalow in Birchington-On-Sea.  When William saw such a peaceful expression on his brother's face, he then asked Frederick Shields if he would draw Gabriel's face. He made one for William and one for their sister, Christina Rossetti - the poetess.  It was then time for William's daughter, Lucy, himself, and Christina to visit the Rectory to meet Mr. Alcock. They all