Wives and Stunners by Henrietta Garnett
The Pre-Raphaelites and Their Muses

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None of this is remotely new. Indeed, Wives and Stunners reads as if it were loosely stitched-together from fine existing biographies of individual pre-Raphaelites by the likes of Fiona MacCarthy, Jan Marsh and Angela Thirlwell.
-Guardian

Synopsis

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, this book tells the story of Janey Morris, Georgie Burne-Jones, Lizzie Siddall, Effie Gray, and the 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, this book vividly evokes the world they inhabited and the lives they lived. It recounts the romances and friendships between the artists and the "stunners" in a lively and original way, and 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.
 

About Henrietta Garnett

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Henrietta Garnett is the author of several memoirs, and of an acclaimed novel, Family Skeletons. She is the daughter of Angelica Garnett, granddaughter of the artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, and daughter-in-law of the diarist Frances Partridge. Her biography of her ancester Anny Thackeray, daughter of the novelist, aunt of Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf, was published to critical acclaim in 2004.
 
Published March 1, 2013 by Pan Macmillan. 318 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Arts & Photography.
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Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Kathryn Hughes on Sep 21 2012

None of this is remotely new. Indeed, Wives and Stunners reads as if it were loosely stitched-together from fine existing biographies of individual pre-Raphaelites by the likes of Fiona MacCarthy, Jan Marsh and Angela Thirlwell.

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