Wednesday, February 17, 2021

A review of The Diabolical Bones by Bella Ellis

Haworth Parsonage, February 1846: The Brontë sisters— Anne, Emily, and Charlotte—are busy with their literary pursuits. As they query publishers for their poetry, each sister hopes to write a full-length novel that will thrill the reading public. They’re also hoping for a new case for their fledgling detecting enterprise, Bell Brothers and Company solicitors. On a bitterly cold February evening, their housekeeper Tabby tells them of a grim discovery at Scar Top House, an old farmhouse belonging to the Bradshaw family. A set of bones has been found bricked up in a chimney breast inside the ancient home.
Tabby says it’s bad doings, and dark omens for all of them. The rattled housekeeper gives them a warning, telling the sisters of a chilling rumoBook Depositoryr attached to the family. The villagers believe that, on the verge of bankruptcy, Clifton Bradshaw sold his soul to the devil in return for great riches. Does this have anything to do with the bones found in the Bradshaw house? The sisters are intrigued by the story and feel compelled to investigate. But Anne, Emily, and Charlotte soon learn that true evil has set a murderous trap and they’ve been lured right into it…

Feb 16, 2021ISBN 9780593099155
The Diabolical Bones is terrific fun to read. Page turning chapters filled with everything Bronte lovers could imagine. For instance, the entire Bronte family sat around the dinner table even brother Branwell and papa Rev. Bronte himself. Wonderful humorous conversations between sisters and brother as well as devotion and protection over their beloved papa Bronte.
The Diabolical Bones is an enthralling mystery where the moors hold secrets carried upon the wind for the Bronte sisters to solve.  Old wives tales, folklore, religion and witchcraft hold clues to help solve this mystery of the bones of a dead child found up a chimney and so much more.
What I love most about these books is you get to read a wonderful mystery wrapped up in the charm of the Bronte family. What more could you ask for?
I can’t wait for the next adventure!
Thank you to Berkley Books and Netgalley for my review copy.
To purchase in the United States, Book Depository 

Saturday, February 6, 2021

A daughter's tribute to her mother: Christina Rossetti in her own words to her mother Frances Rossetti (nee Polidori)


Mother and Daughter posed together, Frances Rossetti and daughter Christina Rossetti by Charles Dodgson,  albumen print, 7 October 1863, NPG

A beautiful tribute to her mother in Christina Rossetti's own handwriting:

Sonnets are full of love, and this our tome

So full of sonnets:  so here now shall be

A sonnet and a love - sonnet from me

To my first love, my Mother, on whose knee

I learnt love-lore that is not troublesome;

Whose heart is still my heart’s most quiet home,

Whose service is my special dignity,

And she my loadstar while I go and come.

And so because you love me, and because

I love you Mother, i have woven a wreath

Of rhymes wherewith to crown your honoured name:

In you not fourscore years can dim the flame

Of love, whose blessed glow transcends the laws

Of time and change and mortal life and death.

The above was from a two page undated letter by Christina Rossetti to her brother Dante Gabriel Rossetti.  Housed and Archived as part of Christina Rossetti's papers at Harry Ransom Center, Austin, Texas. 

A tribute to my mother as tomorrow is the anniversary of her passing.
As long as there is still breath in me, you will never be forgotten.

Monday, February 1, 2021

The Moxon Tennyson: A Landmark in Victorian Illustration-Series in Victorian Studies by Simon Cooke


ISBN 978-0-8214-2426-1
Retail price: $80.00
Release date: January 2021
81 illus. · 254 pages · 7 × 10 in

The Lady of Shalott by William Holman-Hunt

Engraved by the Dalziels /J. Thompson, 1857, Wood engraving

A new perspective on a book that transformed Victorian illustration into a stand-alone art.

Edward Moxon’s 1857 edition of Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s Poems dramatically redefined the relationship between images and words in print. Cooke’s study, the first book to address the subject in over 120 years, presents a sweeping analysis of the illustrators and the complex and challenging ways in which they interpreted Tennyson’s poetry. This book considers the volume’s historical context, examining in detail the roles of publisher, engravers, and binding designer, as well as the material difficulties of printing its fine illustrations, which recreate the effects of painting. Arranged thematically and reproducing all the original images, the chapters present a detailed reappraisal of the original volume and the distinctive culture that produced it.

Simon Cooke is the editor for book illustration and design on Victorian Web. He is the author of Illustrated Periodicals of the 1860s and coeditor of two collections of essays. He has published on Victorian book art, Gothic, Sensationalism, and the Pre-Raphaelites.

I've been reading my review copy from publishers Ohio University Press. It's a beautiful edition and seeing the gorgeous illustrations from all the illustrators not just the well-known Pre-Raphaelite painters has reminded me of the beauty of Tennyson's poems. It makes me want to sit down and read his beautiful words over and over again.

Stay tuned for my upcoming review.  I just wanted to post this for anyone who might want to request  a review copy or purchase it. Please know that it is expensive though.

If you are in the United Kingdom,  Waterstones

If you are in the United States,  Ohio University Press

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 ...