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Effie by Merryn Williams
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Effie

A Victorian Scandal - From Ruskin's Wife to Millais's Muse

$28.00 USD

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Narrator Rosalyn Landor
Length 8 hours 1 minutes
Language English
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Victorian scandals don't come much more intimate and revealing than a wife seeking an annulment from her famous husband because their marriage has not been consummated. When Effie Ruskin sought escape from her desperately unhappy life with art critic John Ruskin, she shattered the Victorian illusion of the perfect marriage. That she could then dare to hope for respectability and even happiness as the wife of artist John Everett Millais fuelled a scandal that was to reverberate around Victorian society for years to come.

Ruskin, Millais and Effie were exposed to the kind of gossip today's wannabe celebrities can only dream of. Effie was regarded as mentally ill, immoral and certainly tainted - Queen Victoria initially refused to receive her - while Ruskin was seen either as noble and virtuous or deranged and impotent. Ruskin was repelled by Effie's body; Millais used her as a model in some of his greatest paintings. Millais went on to become one of Britain s most popular painters, but the stigma of his wife's past would never be forgotten.

From the heart of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood comes a story as fascinating today as it was shocking in the 1850s.

Merryn Williams read English at New Hall, Cambridge and obtained a doctorate for her work on Thomas Hardy. She is the author of a number of critical prose works. Formerly a lecturer at the Open University, she is now editor of The Interpreter’s House magazine. The author of three volumes of poetry, she won the Second Light Network Poetry Competition 2003.

Translator of Selected Poems of Federico Garcia Lorca, Merryn is also editor of the anthology In The Spirit of Wilfred Owen and the recent poetry anthology entitled The Georgians, 1901-1931 (editor). She has also published studies of Thomas Hardy and a biography of the Victorian Scottish novelist Margaret Oliphant. Her title The First Wife’s Tale was on the Wales Book of the Year 2007 Long List. Merryn lives in Oxford.

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