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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic view of Rossetti, 18 July 2011
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A. D. Smith (Oxford, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rossetti: His Life and Works (1) (Penguin Classics Waugh 01) (Hardcover)
Evelyn Waugh published his first book, this biography of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, when he was 25. We are not given any explanation why he was so interested in a Pre-Raphaelite artist who was not popular at the time of writing, but the book clearly shows that Waugh had thought deeply about his paintings and poetry. There are many fascinating anecdotes about his life, mostly well documented, that were new to me and did not appear in the standard modern biography by Jan Marsh Dante Gabriel Rossetti: Painter And Poet: A Biography. Waugh writes elegantly as always and the book is a delight to read. It is rich in assessments of Rossetti's paintings and poetry, although some of Waugh's opinions are rather extreme. For Waugh, Rossetti's Beata Beatrix is supreme, a 'manifestation of the human spirit that transcends the material in which it is discernible...and cannot be dealt with by the workaday machinery of technical valuation...'. In contrast, a painting that many consider is one of Rossetti's most beautiful, Veronica Veronese, is dismissed as 'a charming and trivial piece of work..'. But the value of such strong opinions is that they make us reappraise paintings that we thought we knew well. It is remarkable in a book that is so frank about many things that Waugh never once discusses the nature of the relationship betwen Rossetti and Jane Morris. Was Waugh afraid to raise this issue, I wonder? This book is essential reading for lovers of Rossetti's works but it should not be considered as a scholarly biography but rather as a provocative and charming account of the life of one of England's greatest artists.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Overall very pleased, 5 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Rossetti: His Life and Works (1) (Penguin Classics Waugh 01) (Hardcover)
I have had no problem with the service I received and the product I purchased. All arrived as predicted and it was very easy
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Rossetti: His Life and Works (1) (Penguin Classics Waugh 01)
Rossetti: His Life and Works (1) (Penguin Classics Waugh 01) by Evelyn Waugh (Hardcover - 26 May 2011)
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