Showing posts from April, 2016

I Lived in Julia's House by Joan Brading Grayer

In this charming little book Joan Grayer tells us of her childhood memories living at Dimbola, the former home of the pioneer Victorian photographer, Julia Margaret Cameron, in Freshwater Bay on the Isle of Wight. She describes in detail all the rooms, many with the original furniture and Julia's photographs, and the beautiful gardens. We hear of Joan and her sister, Beryl, watching in horror from a window as a bomb drops yards from Dimbola destroying The Porch, built by Julia and the home for many years of Anne Thackeray Ritchie-immortalised in her last book From the Porch . Paperback: 27 pages Publisher: Julia Margaret Cameron Trust; 2nd Revised edition edition (March 1, 2010) ISBN-10: 0954523342 ISBN-13: 978-0954523343 DIMBOLA Memories, like time, fly away and can be forgotten forever, and realising that our family was the last to occupy Dimbola during the twenty years before the military requisitioned it in 1942, I feel somewhat responsible to pla

The Strawberry Girl by Lisa Stromme: A Review!

It's summer 1893, and the Norwegian fishing village of Åsgårdstrand is preparing for the arrival of well-to-do guests and bohemian artists from the city. Local girl Johanne Lien dutifully gathers berries for tourists and poses barefoot for painters as 'The Strawberry Girl'. Johanne becomes a maid for the wealthy Ihlen family, whose wayward daughter, Tullik, recruits her as a go-between in her pursuit of the controversial painter Edvard Munch. Before long, Johanne is drawn into the raw emotion of Munch's art and his secret liaison with Tullik. But when she is asked to hide more than just secrets, Johanne must decide whether to take the risk.... Lisa Stromme brings alive the tumultuous love affair that inspired one of the most famous paintings of all time in a vivid and bewitching story of innocence, creativity and desire. Hardcover : 336 pages Publisher:   Chatto & Windus (7 April 2016) Language: English ISBN-10 : 1784740586 ISBN-13 : 978

A birthday between friends: Ellen Nussey (20 April 1817–26 November 1897) and Charlotte Bronte (21 April 1816–31 March 1855)

  “Friendship, however, is a plant which cannot be forced. True friendship is no gourd, springing in a night and withering in a day. When first I saw Ellen I did not care for her; we were school fellows. In course of time we learned each other’s faults and good points. We were contrasts still we suited. Affection was first a germ, then a sapling, then a strong tree. Now, no new friend, however lofty or profound in intellect not even Miss Martineau herself could be to me what Ellen is: yet she is no more than a conscientious, observant, calm, well-bred Yorkshire girl. She is without romance.” Charlotte Bronte describing her friendship with Ellen Nussey in a letter to Mr. Williams dated January 3, 1850.   Portrait of a young woman looking over her right shoulder towards the viewer: head held high; broad, open features, large almond-shaped brown eyes, high arched eyebrows, long nose, full highly colored pink cheeks and lips: glossy brown shoulder-length ringlets cover

Pre-Raphaelites on Paper. Victorian Drawings from the Lanigan Collection at Leighton House Museum

Pre-Raphaelites on Paper. Victorian Drawings from the Lanigan Collection Watch a glimpse of just what beautiful drawings are on exhibit inside Leighton House Museum   If you happen to be in London at the moment, you are in for such a treat!  For the first time, Pre-Raphaelites on Paper: Victorian Drawings features over 100 drawings and sketches by the Pre-Raphaelites and their contemporaries: Edward Burne-Jones's study of The Wheel of Fortune (1883), John Everett Millais, William Holman Hunt, Dante Gabriel Rossetti's Dante’s Dream at the Time of the Death of Beatrice (1874), Edward Poynter and Frederic Leighton himself.  Leighton is represented by five drawings including a study for Clytie, his last work, which was acquired by Leighton House in 2008. Also featured are works by Rossetti’s wife Lizzie Siddal and a study by William Morris for his only known easel painting La Belle Iseult (c.1857).   Edward Burne-Jones's study of The Wheel of Fortune

Ye Olde Cock Tavern and Alfred Tennyson

Here it is Ye Olde Cock Tavern 22 Fleet Street, London, England This tavern dates back to 1549 and some of the greatest writers have dined here including Alfred Tennyson. Apparently, monthly he would meet his male friends here (all members of a secret club) including his good friend William Makepeace Thackeray. They all met, ate, drank and discussed well...goodness knows  while they smoked their pipes and drank their seems during one of these visits or meetings Alfred was influenced to write about a 'plump head-waiter' who waited on him and his friends. He used his amuseent to express himself in a very funny and quite telling poem, "Will Waterproof's Lyrical Monologue."  The poem was first published in 1842 when Alfred was still a youngish man of thirty-three years old. It was believed to have been written backin 1837 with his brother Charles Tennyson-Turner.  Now most say the tavern was Ye Old Cock Tavern but at the time, close personal friend

My review of In Search of Anne Brontë by Nick Holland

Anne Brontë, the youngest and most enigmatic of the Brontë sisters, remains a bestselling author nearly two centuries after her death. The brilliance of her two novels and her poetry belies the quiet, truthful girl who often lived in the shadow of her more outgoing sisters. Yet her writing was the most revolutionary of all the Brontës, pushing the boundaries of what was acceptable.  This revealing new biography opens Anne’s most private life to a new audience, and shows the true nature of her relationship with her sister Charlotte. Product details Hardcover: 288 pages Publisher: The History Press (3 Mar. 2016) Language: English ISBN-10: 0750965258 ISBN-13: 978-0750965255  'Sunrise Over the Sea' by Anne Bronte, 1839. (Courtesy of the Bronte Society  and In Search of Anne Brontë by Nick Holland).  At night Anne listened to the sea roaring below her. Looking out of the window she could watch it crash against the rocks, throwing a white