I Certainly Do!

How much do you know about vampires (in film & literature)?

Congratulations, you know lots about vampires! You’re probably a big fan of Mr. De Lioncourt and have watched Queen of the Damned so many times that you’ve memorized the script. You may also have a secret shrine to Dracula hidden in your closet. Who knows! But you, like me, are a true vampire lover and that’s just awesome! :D
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Lizzie Siddal, Tragic Muse

Elizabeth Siddal (1829-1862) is perhaps best remembered as the face of John Everett Millais’ ‘Ophelia’. However, she was also the wife, and muse of the Pre-Raphaelite artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti. She was also an artist in her own right, her work very much overshadowed by her husbands’.  Lizzie had long red hair, was tall with a pale complexion and heavy lidded eyes.  Many were to say that she was not beautiful, but a striking woman.

She was born into a working-class London family, and by 1849 working in a milliner’s (or hat makers) shop when she was discovered by the artist Walter Howell Deverell, who was the first to have her model for his paintings.

Rossetti and Lizzie had an on-off relationship for many years (some would say love-hate) and over time her personality was to change due to her Laudanum dependency and the disappointment in her life, being unmarried and unsure of Rossetti who had well-documented affairs.  (She first used Laundanum when she became ill after posing for too long in cold water for the ‘Ophelia’ painting.)  Finally, she married him in 1860 and became pregnant with their first child.

Sadly, Lizzie’s baby (daughter) was stillborn due to the affects of Laudanum and this was to send her spiralling further into despair.  She was to take her own life in 1862.  Rossetti, being distraught, placed his poems in her coffin and painted ‘Beata Beatrix’ in her memory.  Though, 7 years later he would retrieve his poems and publish them.

I will leave you to make up your own mind about Rossetti’s behaviour.  Lizzie also had her own part to play, and was by no means innocent in many of their problems.  They, at best, should be remembered for their work together.

Highly recommended is the book, ‘Lizzie Siddal the Tragedy of a Pre-Raphaelite Supermodel’ by Lucinda Hawksley, which is a fascinating read.

‘Ophelia’ by Millais and ‘Beata Beatrix’ by Rossetti can be viewed at the Tate Gallery, London.

I Love Jane Austen…

Her books, biographies and many films and miniseries as many of you will know already.

Thought I’d have a little Sunday Austen roundup:

First the trailer for the new film the Jane Austen Book Club (haven’t decided if I want to see it yet):

I loved the ITV Austen season earlier in the year (less said about Mansfield Park the better though):

Jane Austen saison – trailer – ITV – february 24 2007

Tell me your favourites!

Georgette Heyer Book Club

The new film the Jane Austen Book Club got me thinking. How about a virtual one here? I know that there are Heyer fans out there, and I think she’s underrated in modern times.

I’ve never managed to chat to other fans before. Anyone want to join me? I thought that we could all read the same book, choice to be negotiated!