Showing posts from October, 2012


Power of sea be yours, Power of land be yours, Power of heaven. WEST HIGHLAND BLESSING The great Celtic scholar Dr. Anne Ross once said, 'Everyone with European roots can consider themselves of Celtic origin.' People who are not directly descended from Irish, Welsh, or Scottish families tend to think they have no Celtic roots, but in reality so many different European tribes contributed to the creation of Celticism, and over thousands of years such a mixing of  populations has occurred, that virtually anyone alive today with European ancestry can be said to have Celtic origins.   Samhain Goddess, 'The Crone' by Angela Jayne Barnett The old people had runes which they sang to the spirits dwelling in the sea and in the mountain, in the wind and in the whirlwind, in the lightning and in the thunder, in the sea and in the moon and in the stars of heaven. I naught but a toddling child at the time, remember well the ways of the old people ~ Car

The Great Exhibition of 1851 held at the Crystal Palace in London

The Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, home to the Great Exhibition of 1851  The Great Nave of the Crystal Palace, photograph 1854, Philip Henry Delamotte, V&A The Great Exhibition took place at London's Hyde Park in 1851 inside a building called the Crystal Palace. The Crystal Palace was 1,848 feet long and 454 feet wide and covered 19 acres of London's Hyde Park. The idea for this building was the brainchild of Henry Cole. However, it was designed by Joseph Paxton head gardener at Chatsworth and close friend of John Atkinson Grimshaw. The man who would ensure this great 'happening' was none other than Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria.  The Great Exhibition took place over five months from May to October 1851, six million visitors came to what was basically a massive trade show. There were 100,000 exhibits from all across the globe where Art and Science came together in an effort to stimulate industrial design. For instance, Fine Art objects wer

My review of A Dangerous Inheritance by Alison Weir

In this engrossing novel of historical suspense, New York Times bestselling author Alison Weir tells the dramatic intertwined stories of two women—Katherine Grey and Kate Plantagenet—separated by time but linked by twin destinies . . . . involving the mysterious tragic fate of the young Princes in the Tower.   When her older sister, Lady Jane Grey, the Nine Days’ Queen, is executed in 1554 for unlawfully accepting the English crown, Lady Katherine Grey’s world falls apart. Barely recovered from this tragic loss she risks all for love, only to incur the wrath of her formidable cousin Queen Elizabeth I, who sees Katherine as a rival for her insecure throne.   Interlaced with Katherine’s story is that of her distant kinswoman Kate Plantagenet, the bastard daughter of Richard III, the last Plantagenet king. In 1483, Kate travels to London for Richard’s coronation, and her world changes forever.   Kate loves her father, but before long she hears terrible rumors about h

Jane Burden: The Pre--Pre-Raphaelite Muse

Dante Gabriel Rossetti's La Pia de Tolomei   Today is the birthday of Jane Burden Morris, Pre-Raphaelite Muse. One of the most recognizable women of the 19th century and the Pre-Raphaelite art movement. Instead of writing a biographical article, I thought instead, I would share excerpts of a lecture taken from, 'Wilfrid Scawen Blunt and the Morrises, The 1980 Kelmscott Lecture (The William Morris Society)'.  So, the text will end abruptly because this lecture goes in-depth into not only Jane Burden and The Burden Family's lives but involves some PRB members as well. I wanted to simply focus on Ms. Burden on the day of her birth, 19 October 1839...   Jane's parents had arrived in Oxford in the early 1830s, as part of the influx of young people who were driven to the towns by the Enclosure Acts, and where Robert Burden's elder brother James was already established at Magdalen College as Stable Groom. Robert came from Stanton Harcourt, a

A Master of Moonlight: John Atkinson Grimshaw (1836-1893)

J.A. Grimshaw “The work of Atkinson Grimshaw is valuable and unique in several respects. He made a great popular success out of that amalgam of Pre-Raphaelite sentiment, nature and industry that dominated the culture of northern England in the later nineteenth century. His work is our only visual equivalent to the great epics of industrial change’ (David Bromfield, Atkinson Grimshaw 1836-1893), exhibition catalogue, 1979-80 edition, p. 5. Liverpool Quay by Moonlight, 1887 A Painter’s Dream The docks at Greenock, in the west of Scoltand, on the River Clyde was the subject of several compositions that J.A. Grimshaw painted and was a favorite location for depicting his night scenes. The industrial cities of Britain and their commercial growth became the source of immense inspiration for Grimshaw, as he celebrated the age of industry, commerce and conspicuous wealth. His use of a carriage, as in Liverpool Quay by Moonlight, 1887, is another characteristic elemen