Effie by Suzanne Cooper

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Synopsis

Effie Gray, a beautiful and intelligent young socialite, rattled the foundations of England’s Victorian age. Married at nineteen to John Ruskin, the leading art critic of the time, she found herself trapped in a loveless, unconsummated union after Ruskin rejected her on their wedding night. On a trip to Scotland she met John Everett Millais, Ruskin’s protégé, and fell passionately in love with him. In a daring act, Effie left Ruskin, had their marriage annulled and entered into a long, happy marriage with Millais. Suzanne Fagence Cooper has gained exclusive access to Effie’s previously unseen letters and diaries to tell the complete story of this scandalous love triangle. In Cooper’s hands, this passionate love story also becomes an important new look at the work of both Ruskin and Millais with Effie emerging as a key figure in their artistic development. Effie is a heartbreakingly beautiful book about three lives passionately entwined with some of the greatest paintings of the pre-Raphaelite period.


 

About Suzanne Cooper

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SUZANNE FAGENCE COOPER is a research fellow and curator at the Victoria & Albert Museum. She has also worked as a consultant for the BBC. Suzanne lives in London and York.
 
Published June 21, 2011 by St. Martin's Press. 306 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Cooking, History, Travel. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Effie

Kirkus Reviews

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Victoria & Albert Museum curator Cooper (Pre-Raphaelite Art in the Victoria & Albert Museum, 2003, etc.) works from Effie’s previously unknown personal correspondence, which the author gained access to when Sir Geoffrey Millais lent thousands of her brown-paper wrapped letters to London's Tate Ga...

Apr 05 2011 | Read Full Review of Effie

The New York Times

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That marriage — mostly happy, except for Millais’s temporary infatuation with Effie’s younger and even more beautiful sister, Sophy — lasted 41 years, during which Millais, encouraged by Effie, abandoned his Pre-Raphaelite aestheticism and became a prominent society portraitist.

Jun 21 2011 | Read Full Review of Effie

Publishers Weekly

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Despite Cooper's access to substantial family records, which allow her to offer detailed recreations of Effie's fraught upper-class family life, the author admits to gaps in our knowledge of Effie's life, which she fills in by speculating, for instance, that Ruskin's physical disgust with Effie w...

Apr 25 2011 | Read Full Review of Effie

The Wall Street Journal

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Cooper's biography of Effie Gray (1828-97), who was married successively to the art critic John Ruskin and then to the erstwhile Pre-Raphaelite painter J.E.

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The Wall Street Journal

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Cooper's biography of Effie Gray (1828-97), who was married successively to the art critic John Ruskin and then to the erstwhile Pre-Raphaelite painter J.E.

Jun 17 2011 | Read Full Review of Effie

Washington Independent Review of Books

The Queen, in particular, refused to acknowledge any distinction between divorce and annulment, barring Effie from any social event at which she would be present, opining that she would not countenance “a lady who has been the wife of another man still living.” After a year of complete separatio...

Aug 29 2011 | Read Full Review of Effie

Metro

The Model Wife: Effie, Ruskin & Millais by Suzanne Fagence Cooper She then married Millais, with whom she had eight children and a prosperous life as the socialite wife of one of the era’s most successful painters.

Oct 26 2010 | Read Full Review of Effie

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