Wednesday, 9 February 2011

WILLIAM AND LUCY: The Other Rossettis Book review


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Title: WILLIAM AND LUCY: The Other Rossettis
Author: ANGELA THIRLWELL
As promoter, transcriber, writer and editor, William Michael Rossetti invented our view of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Yet he is the least understood of all the Pre-Raphaelites. This biography is a dual portrait of an eminent Victorian and his artist wife Lucy Madox Brown, who was also intimately connected with the Pre-Raphaelite's circle. They married in 1874, uniting two of the most resonant family names. Their passionate and ultimately tragic relationship, described here for the first time, provides a fresh perspective on 19th century marriage and on the private lives of eminent Victorians. Sibling of Dante Gabriel and Christina Rossetti, William was one of the original 'Brothers', a bohemian, a connoisseur, biographer, historian and tax man. Lucy was the intense and intellectual daughter of Ford Madox Brown, an ambitious artist and biographer of Mary Shelley, who struggled with tuberculosis for nearly ten years. The book follows William and Lucy through their separate professional careers, marriage, continental travels and Lucy's illness and death. At the cross-over between art history, literary criticism, social history and biography, this book re-writes Pre-Raphaelite history and brings to life two fascinating people who were both of their time and ahead of it. With striking contemporary photos and art by William, Lucy and others of their circle, this is a truly heavyweight volume of 376pp, some colour plus family trees and coloured map. Yale University Press.
Published Price: £35.00
BIBLIOPHILE PRICE: £15

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