Wednesday, January 28, 2015

My review of The Witch of Painted Sorrows by MJ Rose

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.

Hardcover, 384 pages
Expected publication: March 17th 2015 by Atria Books 
ISBN  147677806X 
 Endymion by G.F. Watts RA (1817-1904) 1872 private collection

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!  

The Witch of Painted Sorrows is the first in a new series, so you may have an open-ended ending and some situations might not be immediately explained or revealed enough to the reader's satisfaction. I say this because if you are expecting every question to have a solution or answer immediately, you might be frustrated.  However, for me I did not find this problem. Instead, the ending is fantastic and not predictable. It leaves you yearning for the next book in the series. I want to know what will happen to certain characters how their life evolves.  

I loved the scenes in those parisian mansions with Sandrine and Julien discussing art, artists, making love in that art studio, walking through Paris, eating in those beautiful cafes. Oh, MJ Rose brings adventure, lust, love, possession and occultism to you in the form of The Witch of Painted Sorrows and I hope every reader enjoys it as much as I have. 

My review is based on an ARC of The Witch of Painted Sorrows. The novel is due out on March 17, 2015 which happens to be my grandmother's birthday!

Monday, January 26, 2015

On the death of Jane Morris (nee Burden) Oct 19, 1839 · Oxford, England - Jan 26, 1914 · Bath, England

I am in the middle of a blizzard a nor'easter here on the East Coast in the U.S. I had to just do a quick post recognizing the death of Jane Morris nee Burden, wife of William Morris and mother of two daughters Jenny and May Morris.  Sadly, there are no details about the Jane's death except she outlived her husband and 'supposed' former lovers to live to old age.  Here is the last released known photograph taken of Jane Morris. She is seated in the wheelchair on the far right, standing next to her left side is her daughter, May Morris as well as friend Cecil Sharp. Photograph taken at her home she shared with William Morris, Kelmscott, one year before her death in 1913 at a country festival.
Photo published in The Collected Letters of Jane Morris Edited by Frank C. Sharp and Jan Marsh, (my copy).

Also, here is the street where Jane Morris died located as it looks today in Bath, England: 5 Brock Street. photo found online at JaneyMorris BlogSpot.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

My review of Lewis Carroll: The Man and his Circle by Edward Wakeling

This new biography of Carroll by leading international authority, Edward Wakeling, presents a fresh appraisal of the man based upon his social circle. Contrary to the claims of many previous authors, Carroll's circle was not child centered: his correspondence was enormous, numbering almost 100,000 items at the time of his death, and included royalty and many of the leading artists, illustrators, publishers, academics, musicians and composers of the Victorian era. Edward Wakeling draws upon his personal database of nearly 6,000 letters, mostly never before published, to fill the gaps left by earlier biographies and resolve some of the key myths that surround Lewis Carroll, such as his friendships with children and his drug-taking. Essential reading for scholars and admirers of one of the key authors of the Victorian age. 
  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: I. B. Tauris (January 28, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780768206
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780768205

 "He was, however, a man who appreciated beauty in art, a regular visitor to art galleries and exhibitions, a friend of famous artists of his day. To some extent, he saw photography as an alternative to painting and sketching. He was never satisfied with his own attempts to draw and photography gave him an opportunity to use and develop his aesthetic and artistic abilities. Later, when he gave copies of his photographs to sitters and their families, he would inscribe the picture as 'from the Artist' rather than 'from the Photographer'. (pg. 157) 

Edward Wakeling, uses the first half of, 'Lewis Carroll: The Man and his Circle' to write the biography of the life through to the death of the man Charles Lutwidge Dodgson; including, the author of the pen name Lewis Carroll known for the children's books, Alice and Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Covering the years (27 January 1832 – 14 January 1898), you discover who influenced the characters in both children's books, you meet The Liddell Family, you discover who the boy Charles was into adulthood from a familial and religious ideological standpoint as to better ascertain the man behind the troubled and puzzling myth of how he became forever known as Lewis Carroll. Somewhere in between these chapter pages you will meet the mathematician who loved literature, poets, artists, and whose young passion was in photography.  He established himself at Christ Church, Oxford earning a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics residing there lecturing and teaching. He became a devout follower of the Church of England as was his father before him. 

Charles Dodgson lectures and begins studying photography through numerous mutual friends such as Reginald Southey, a mate from Oxford who introduces him to Julia Margaret Cameron on the Isle of Wight and painters such as Pre-Raphaelite member William Holman-Hunt. Some of my favorite chapters revolve around the late 1850s through to the late 1890s when a young Dodgson meets the men and women of The Freshwater Circle attempting to become friends beyond admiring their works. For instance, leading Poet Laureate of the day, Alfred Tennyson becomes what some would call an obsession for Dodgson.  He is determined to meet and photograph the poet which he does including his family. Unfortunately, told through excerpts of Carroll's diary, you discover the reasons behind the fallout between Tennyson and a young Dodgson. There is only one fleeting mention of mutual friend of Tennyson's, Julia Margaret Cameron. Instead, the emphasis is in photography and Dodgson focuses on his rooftop studio back at Oxford and his years living and teaching there.  

Once Dodgson becomes a published children's author, he maintains a lifelong friendship with Alice Liddell and her family.  Edward Wakeling spends a few chapters giving credence to Carroll's reputation as a photographer of 'nude girls' and how it ruined his reputation then and now. I will leave the outcome up to the reader. I will say the author covers this aspect of Dodgson's life with respect and aplomb.  He does not provide any new or earthshattering information but for readers who long to know about the human being, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, beyond the author of nonsense tales, Lewis Carroll, I hope you will take the time to buy and read it for yourself. I am very impressed by the author's passion for Dodgson's life.  One of the great aspects of this novel, is how the author focuses the last half of the novel writing about Dodgson's years after 1880 through to the year of his death in 1898.  He was financially secure from selling his books, he retired from Oxford and decides to give up photography in the same year that a grown woman Alice Liddell marries. Coincidence? I don't think so. I believe he took that as a sign to move beyond his past and into the rest of his years. He does this by focusing on the Victorian art world, writing and visiting such artists as:  Dante Gabriel Rossetti of which a mention of a photograph Dodgson takes of Rossetti painting in his studio which sadly has gone missing from any of his photography albums that are now archived at Princeton University and University of Texas' Harry Ransom Center. He visits  Mr. Millais, the genius painter and photographs his wife, Effie Gray and their children.  At the end of, 'Lewis Carroll: The Man and his Circle' is a much needed Bibliography, a notes and chapter overview section, that is very helpful to the reader. 

Thank you to NetGalley and publishing company I.B. Tauris for providing me with an online reading copy.  The U.S. publication date is, January 28, 2015.  

For more information, I.B. Tauris Publishers

Also, Lewis Carroll: The Man and his Circle by Edward Wakeling  is already published in the United Kingdom and available for purchase now.


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

An 1857 Alfred Tennyson mystery solved!

Since my visit to The Morgan Library Museum last February 2014 to conduct some research on Alfred Tennyson and his family; I read through the Tennyson archives held there when one letter Tennyson wrote stood out to me. Since that day, I have been curious about who this photographer was that Tennyson refers to not by name...Thus, the mystery. Alright, its not Agatha Christie, but for me it might as well have been... TENNYSON'S LETTER READS AS FOLLOWS TAKEN FROM THE ACTUAL LETTER I HELD IN MY HANDS AT THE MORGAN MUSEUM THAT DAY. I TRANSCRIBED THE FOLLOWING:

Ap. 25th/57

Dear Sir,
I have this morning received the photographs of my two boys. The oldest is very well likened:  the other, perhaps, not so well.
My best thanks. I wish you had come up here when you were at Freshwater as it is.
I look forward to the pleasure of  making your acquaintance at some future time.
                                                                                                                              Yours very truly,
                                                                                                                               A. Tennyson

Immediately, I read this and thought, 'what photographer' is Tennyson referring to? It wasn't Mrs. Cameron, obviously, Oscar Rejlander took The Tennyson Family photos during the 1860s on the grounds of Farringford House. It wasn't John Mayall. Possibly Lewis Carroll who photographed Tennyson's boys, Hallam and Lionel in 1857. I'll get to that later. I knew it wasn't Carroll because Tennyson mentions not meeting the photographer and Tennyson and Carroll met before and after 1857!  So, 1857 photographs of the boys taken by someone Tennyson did not meet yet...this leaves one man named Reginald Southey who in 1857 took the two following very important photographs of two sets of boys who were sons of two of the most prominent nineteenth century figures and very good friends:

 Is this not the sweetest photograph of Alfred Tennyson's sons:  LEFT: oldest boy, Hallam Tennyson looking directly into the camera 'capturing his likeness' as his father says and the younger profile of Lionel Tennyson staring at something..., Hallam was five years old in 1857 and his brother would have been three years old in 1857.  Hallam Tennyson (1852-1928) and Lionel Tennyson (1854-86) as children by Reginald Southey, Freshwater, Isle of Wight. Albumen print, 84 x 137mm (3 3/48 x 5 3/8").  1857, Princeton Library.

Two sons of nineteenth century photographer, Julia Margaret Cameron: Charles Cameron (1848-?) and Harry (Henry) Cameron (1852-1911) as children by Reginald Southey. Freshwater, Isle of Wight. Albumen print, 84 x 137mm (3 3/8 x 5 3/8"). 1857.  Princeton Library. Charles would have been nine years old and his brother Harry only five years old!  Reginald Southey used the same set, the same back pillow. Perhaps even the same clothes? 

Now for the background and you can draw your own conclusions...
In Emily Tennyson’s journal entry from 24 April 1857, ‘Mr. Reginald Southey’s photograph of the boys arrives. One can trace some likeness to Hallam in that of Hallam little ruffian tho’ he be. Lionel comes out still less distinctly but one is grateful.’ Tennyson himself wrote to Southey to thank him for the prints, suggesting that he might like to visit Farringford if he were to return to Freshwater.

Southey’s photographs of the Tennyson boys and of the Camerons’ sons Charles and Henry, were apparently posed in the house where the Camerons were staying while on the Isle of Wight to attend the wedding of Horatio Tennyson. Although very small and lacking the scale and impact of Julia Margaret’s own photographs, Southey’s portraits are close-ups, with background and extraneous detail carefully omitted. 
Hallam and Lionel Tennyson with Julia Marshall (28 September 1857) Taken by Charles Dodgson a.k.a. Lewis Carroll.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson, son Hallam, James G. Marshall, his wife Mary nee Spring Rice, and their daughter Julia Marshall, taken on 28 September 1857 at Monk Coniston Park, Ambleside, Marshalls home in the Lake District. An intricately posed portrait.

 More of the Lewis Carroll connection...
A rare original photograph by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) of Alfred Lord Tennyson with his son Hallam, seated together with James and Mary Marshall and their daughter Julia. (Could this Julia Marshall be the same Julia Marshall photographed above with Tennyson's boys?) Mary Marshall was the sister of one of Tennyson’s Cambridge friends, and the family owned Monk Coniston, which later became the home of Beatrix Potter. It was there that Tennyson and his wife Emily spent part of their delayed honeymoon in 1851. The Marshalls were “part of a huge family network of enormously wealthy linen manufacturers” and “loved having literary and artistic guests” (R. B. Martin. Tennyson: The Unquiet Heart, 1980, pp. 338-339). At the time he made this photograph, Charles Dodgson was still an unknown mathematics lecturer. He was also a pioneering photographer in the early days of the medium’s existence. Dodgson “had an eye for the beauty around him and a good sense of composition, qualities amply evident in his photographs”. Historian Helmut Gernsheim called his photographic achievements “truly astonishing” and proclaimed him “the most outstanding photographer of children in the nineteenth century” (ODNB). Dodgson was a good friend of the Marshalls, and this photograph was taken during a visit to Monk Coniston in September 1857. Dodgson knew of Tennyson’s stay at the adjoining Tent Lodge, and on paying a social call was “most kindly received [by Mrs. Tennyson] and spent nearly an hour there. I also saw the two children, Hallam and Lionel, 5 and 3 years old, the most beautiful boys of their age I ever saw. I got leave to take portraits of them… she even seemed to think it was not hopeless that Tennyson himself might sit, though I said I would not request it, as he must have refused so many that it is unfair to expect it” (Gernsheim, Lewis Carroll Photographer, p. 42). On 22 September he recorded in his diary that he met Tennyson himself: “Brought my books of photographs to be looked at. Mr. and Mrs. Tennyson admired some of them so much that I have strong hopes of ultimately getting a sitting from the poet, though I have not yet ventured to ask for it. He threw out several hints of his wish to learn photography, but seemed to be deterred by a dread of the amount of patience required” (Gernsheim p. 42). Dodgson’s own patience was rewarded on the 28th and 29th, when he made portraits of all the Tennyson family members, writing of the 29th that “Went over to the Marshall’s about 11 and spent the day till 4 in photography. I got a beautiful portrait of Hallam, sitting, and a group in the drawing-room of Mr. Tennyson and Hallam, Mr. and Mrs. Marshall and Julia” (Gernsheim p. 42). 

Monk Coniston survives today and here are some photographs of the honeymoon spot of Lord and Lady Tennyson - just for fun!
 Tent Lodge in Cumbria, The Lake District is where The Tennyson's honeymooned in September 1850 and it still stands today; even open to the public!!

“From a letter of Carlyle to his wife, dated September 1850, we get a glimpse of the newly-wedded couple on a visit at Tent Lodge, Coniston.  “Alfred looks really improved, I should say; cheerful in what he talks, and looking forward to a future less detached than the past has been. A good soul, find him where and how situated you may. Mrs. Tennyson lights up bright glittering blue eyes when you speak to her; has wit, has sense; and were it not that she seems so very delicate in health, I should augur really well of Tennyson’s adventure.” (The Homes and Haunts of Alfred Lord Tennyson, Poet Laureate by George G. Napier, published in 1892, pg. 156.)

 Monk Coniston Estate, Cumbria, Lake District, England. Monk Coniston Rooms

Saturday, January 10, 2015

My review of Vanessa and her Sister by Priya Parmar

It can break your heart to have a sister like Virginia Woolf.

London, 1905: The city is alight with change, and the Stephen siblings are at the forefront. Vanessa, Virginia, Thoby, and Adrian are leaving behind their childhood home and taking a house in the leafy heart of avant-garde Bloomsbury. There, they bring together a glittering circle of bright, outrageous artistic friends who will come to be known as the Bloomsbury Group. And at the center of this charmed circle are the devoted, gifted sisters: Vanessa, the painter, and Virginia, the writer.

Each member of the group will go on to earn fame and success, but so far Vanessa Bell has never sold a painting. Virginia Woolf’s book review has just been turned down by The Times. Lytton Strachey has not published anything. E. M. Forster has finished his first novel but does not like the title. Leonard Woolf is still a civil servant in Ceylon, and John Maynard Keynes is looking for a job. Together, this sparkling coterie of artists and intellectuals throw away convention and embrace the wild freedom of being young, single bohemians in London.

But the landscape shifts when Vanessa unexpectedly falls in love and her sister feels dangerously abandoned. Eerily possessive, charismatic, manipulative, and brilliant, Virginia has always lived in the shelter of Vanessa’s constant attention and encouragement. Without it, she careens toward self-destruction and madness. As tragedy and betrayal threaten to destroy the family, Vanessa must decide if it is finally time to protect her own happiness above all else.

The work of exciting young newcomer Priya Parmar, Vanessa and Her Sister exquisitely captures the champagne-heady days of prewar London and the extraordinary lives of sisters Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf.

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (December 30, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080417637X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804176378 


Author, Priya Parmar bravely fictionalizes the happenings of The Bloomsbury Group members: Lytton Strachey, Clive Bell (Vanessa's husband), E.M. Forster, John Maynard Keynes with familial issues between siblings Adrian and Thoby, with a compliicated and competitive sibling relationship between older sister Vanessa Stephen and Virginia Stephen.  Vanessa and her sister opens in 1905 with a party involving brothers Thoby and Adrian and covers the years through until Virginia's marriage to Leonard Woolf in 1912.  The novel is easily presented in an invented diary format from Vanessa Bell's perspective.  We have Virginia's diary or notebooks with her thoughts and her letters but Vanessa's real diary has never been discovered yet! The author has researched The Stephen sisters and their friends and siblings through reading their letters and used them in chapter formats throughout this novel.  There are minor discrepancies such as months are written a bit later than the actual months but that does not take away from how much I enjoyed Vanessa and her Sister. I am no expert on Virginia Woolf who is the much more well known sibling and I did not purposefully look for changes the author made factually throughout their lives but they are there in minor format if you look for them. 

Priya Parmar brings Vanessa Bell center stage standing in the spotlight as painter and flesh and blood woman who paints as a creative outlet in dealing with her psychologically and emotionally scarred childhood wounds.  Her sister Virginia is very co-dependent on her. Together they forge a sibling bond that will be torn apart by cheating and one sister's decision.  Vanessa and her Sister could've been very heady reading but the author intelligently uses each member's passion for creating as a plot base for this novel making it a page turner for anyone curious about the entire Bloomsbury Group. It is all here in gorgeous prose. The diary format is a wonderful tool choice to use making the reader want to keep reading because they feel as if they are sitting across from Vanessa Bell who is retelling some of the hardest years of her life (1905-1912). 

I learned a lot about Vanessa Bell and will do my own research as always. However, how refreshing to read a novel from a sister's perspective removing the focus solely off of VIRGINIA WOOLF. Vanessa must have felt in her younger sister's shadow her whole life juxtaposed against their very famous and loved beautiful mother, Julia Stephen. Here, Vanessa shines and I hope readers will enjoy Vanessa and her Sister as much as I have. It truly is beautifully written and for me is a family story novel that needed to be written. 

Thank you to Ballantine Books and NetGalley for providing me with an online reader copy.  

To contact the publishing company,

Friday, January 9, 2015

A review of Roger Dean's Esoteric London

Esoteric London is such a fun read! Roger Dean has taken his blog posts, his photographs, and with some fitting nineteenth century quotes has created a wonderful guidebook for the adventurer seeking the different aspects of London. 

Let Roger take you through the city of London as he sees it literally and visually with such creative flair you will feel as if you are on a walking tour with the author himself!

I have been to London twice over the years and have done the American tourist thing stopping by in a rushed cattle-like manner the usual sites i.e. the churches, the museums, etc. If you take your copy of, 'Esoteric London' with you, well, get ready for a humorous, smart cracking good time! 

Roger's photographs are beautiful, close-ups of stained glass church windows, cherub statues, lamp posts, the sights and sounds of the hidden and not so hidden sides of London as only Roger Dean can show them.

Every post is witty and concise in his own words ended by a Victorian quotation from a London long ago. His use of photographs juxtaposed against modern and old descriptions of a London we thought we knew made me look at my favorite spots in London with fresh eyes! His early post about St. James Park, for instance, brought back a wonderful memory of my very first trip in London. I haven't thought about my walk through St. James Park in so long and have always related the park with Henry VIIIth, so reading, 'Esoteric London' I saw it again through a different lens. Thank you Roger Dean for opening my eyes to your London. What a magical experience reading, 'Esoteric London' is. I hope everyone will pick up a copy for themselves and enjoy seeing it for the first time or the hundredth time! It's London mate! It never gets old :)

Thank you Roger for sending me a review copy. Next time I get back to London, Esoteric London is coming with me! 

To buy the book and to find out more information about him,  Esoteric London

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Daniel Ridgway Knight, American, 1839-1924

Unknown photographer, Daniel Ridgway-Knight in his glass studio in Poissy, France (1892)

His parents were Quakers where he was born in Philadelphia, Pennyslvania. It was a home where you spoke with “thees” and “thous”, with simple manners and inflexible rules. There was a ban on pictures and music and every wall was bare. Daniel, after leaving school in Philadlephia, became an apprentice in a wholesale hardware house. It was under this roof that Daniel began fostering his love of copying in pen and ink engravings from books he borrowed from the Franklin Institute Library. It took him six weeks to complete, every evening. It was sold to his sister for twenty five cents and a bunch of grapes as the story goes! 

Daniel Ridgway Knight owes the start of his professional career to his grandfather who loved looking at his drawings. One day he showed a selection of them to a friend, who insisted on submitting them to dealers and critics. The drawings made the rounds of Philadelphia, and were warmly praised. Unfortunately, Daniel’s father did not agree with his own father and told his son to give up this dream of becoming an artist for it is only a pursuit of stupid fast living people. Thus, Daniel, gave up his apprenticeship and took classes at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.  One year was spent in that institution, working from the antique and from life, and the first strictly professional work done was to execute a large number of crayon portraits, life size, during his holidays at Chambersburg. After another season spent at the Academy, Daniel’s father urged him to make painting his life work. He went to Europe and took the best courses available. His parents paid for the trip and he eventually settled in Paris, France, where he entered Gleyre’s Atelier, the largest in Paris. He passed his exams and became a member of the Ecole des Beaux Arts. He spent three years of close study, drawing at the Beaux Arts and painting at Gleyre’s, and then passed a winter in Rome studying at the British Academy, returning to America with many portfolios. 

Knight took a studio in his native city, Philadelphia, painted portraits and genre pictures, and conducted a class of female students. It was about this time he married Miss Rebecca Morris Webster and another study period in Europe. He secured a number of orders for pictures from prominent Philadelphians, and had the funding for extended residence abroad. He and his young wife reached Paris in 1871, when the city was still suffering from the effects of the Commune. Paris held little attraction for him and shortly after the birth of his eldest son, in 1873, he moved with his family to Poissy, a pretty, picturesque town on the banks of the Seine, where lived the great French artist Meissonier. They soon became fast long time friends and Knight would refer to him as Master. With his Master’s steady council, Knight remained in Poissy painting large pictures of local scenery. Knight chose his models from the peasant girls from the suburbs of Paris. He painted over 20 paintings in rapid succession and were all exhibited at the Paris Salon. They all represented scenes of Poissy and its neighboring villages. 

Rolleboise Chateau, now a hotel!
As the number of canvases increased, Knight felt the need for variety. He decided to move farther down the river, still keeping the comfortable studios in his Poissy chateau, called Rolleboise, a tiny village between Nancy and Vernon. He filled it with rare old furniture, tapestries and bric a brac. Half of Rolleboise is located on the bank of the Seine and the other half is on the hillside. He kept a glass studio here with a view of the plains and woods. 

Louis Aston Knight (son of Daniel Ridgway Knight)
 Louis Aston Knight (1873-1948)

 It is at Rolleboise that (Louis) Aston Knight, eldest son and also a landscape painter, is a constant companion to his father and they both become hermit artists. Mrs. Knight and younger son visit them now and then for days or weeks at a time, and Aston and his father occasionally abandon their work for a month’s residence at Poissy. “La Bergere de Rolleboise,” was painted here and has become one of the most popular paintings.  

At the Paris Salon he was awarded an honorable mention and a gold medal; at Munich he won a gold medal; at the Paris Universal Exhibition of 1889 he carried off the second medal; he was honored with the Cross of the Legion of Honor in 1889 and the Cross of the Order of St. Michael of Bavaria in 1892. He was also awarded a Columbian Medal at Chicago in 1893; a second medal at Antwerp and Grand Medal of Honor at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts at Philadelphia.

The Shepherdess of Rolleboise by Daniel Ridgway Knight, 1896, Oil on Canvas, Brooklyn Museum, NYC

My Review of Arresting Beauty by Heather Cooper

‘Beggars can’t be choosers. They really can’t.’ Based on true historical events,  Arresting Beauty  follows the extraordinary story of Mary ...