Wives and Stunners: The Pre-Raphaelites and Their Muses
, 2012 - Art
- 315 pages
A vivid, richly observed and compellingly readable account of the women who held the artists of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in thrall. Essentially a domestic biography whose main concern is the tragicomedy of manners enacted by a closely knit group of friends and lovers, Wives and Stunners tells the story of Janey Morris, Georgie Burne-Jones, Lizzie Siddall, Effie Gray and less well-known, Marie Spartali, Aglaia Coronio and Mary Zambacco. These women were the wives, mistresses and muses, of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, the inspiration behind the work of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Holman Hunt, William Morris, Edward Burne-Jones and John Millais. Set against the background of mid-Victorian bohemian England, Henrietta Garnett vividly evokes the world they inhabited and the lives they lived. She recounts the romances and friendships between the artists and the "stunners" in a lively and original way and her book will appeal to anyone interested in Victorian England, the history of the Pre-Raphaelites and, significantly, to everyone who wants to read a spellbinding story of a bygone era.