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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Muses
My attention was drawn to this book when I watched the author being interviewed by Nick Higham. As an enthusiast of the Pre-Raphaelites and their work, I found this to be a tremendous book. It commences with the founding of the PRB then, the author pays particular emphasis to the marriage of Effie Gray to John Ruskin which had to be anulled. Effie then married John...
Published 23 months ago by Onora

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as stunning as it could be.
This is nicely written, but doesn't really do what it says in the title. It is supposed to be about "The Pre Raphaelites and their Muses", however of the original brotherhood it only really covers John Millais and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, leaving out Collinson, Woolner, Stephens and Wlliam Rossetti almost completely and sidelining Hunt who had a fascinating and complicated...
Published 21 months ago by KAW


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as stunning as it could be., 30 Nov 2012
This review is from: Wives and Stunners: The Pre-Raphaelites and Their Muses (Hardcover)
This is nicely written, but doesn't really do what it says in the title. It is supposed to be about "The Pre Raphaelites and their Muses", however of the original brotherhood it only really covers John Millais and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, leaving out Collinson, Woolner, Stephens and Wlliam Rossetti almost completely and sidelining Hunt who had a fascinating and complicated love life. Effie Millais has recently been the subject of two good biographies, Gabriel's wife and muse Elizabeth Siddal has been the subject of an excellent study,so it is disappointing that over half the book focuses on their stories. It then switches to the triangle of Gabriel, William Morris and his wife Jane and Burne-Jones his wife and some of his lovers, both exhaustively covered by Fiona MacCarthy. So there is very little that is new here. I found the now out of print Pre Raphaelites in Love had much more material in it and covered the stories of Annie Miller and Fanny Cornforth in much greater detail.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Muses, 3 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Wives and Stunners: The Pre-Raphaelites and Their Muses (Hardcover)
My attention was drawn to this book when I watched the author being interviewed by Nick Higham. As an enthusiast of the Pre-Raphaelites and their work, I found this to be a tremendous book. It commences with the founding of the PRB then, the author pays particular emphasis to the marriage of Effie Gray to John Ruskin which had to be anulled. Effie then married John Everett-Millais another Pre-Raphaelite, it was a happy union. Of course, any work about the Pre-Raphaelites wouldn't be complete without Dante Gabriel-Rossetti and his complex relationship with Lizzie Siddal. Their subsequent marriage was shortened by the death of Lizzie from an overdose of laudanum. Rossetti the consistent philanderer, had a full affair with Janey the wife of William Morris. The Pre-Raphaelites are as interesting for their colourful relationships with their muses, as their art. I personally find them fascinating. There are a few colour and black and white plates of the work of the Pre-Raphaelites,as well as poems by William Morris, Christina and Dante Gabriel-Rossetti himself. This is a must for all PRB enthusiasts. Highly recommended!!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A good read, but not what it said it was, 5 Jan 2013
This review is from: Wives and Stunners: The Pre-Raphaelites and Their Muses (Hardcover)
Having enjoyed the work of the pre-raphaelites for years, and taking an interest in their lives, I was really taken by the title of this. The chance to read more about the women who inspired the artists, and in many cases, became artists or similar, really appealed.

This was a good biography of the pre-raphaelites. It spans their entire history and examines the process behind a lot of their works, which was fascinating. Which is irritating, as I wanted a biography of the women in their lives, not another of the pre-raphaelites. I would agree that Effie Gray, Georgiana Burne Jones and perhaps Elizabeth Siddal got a good look in, but this was still only really as they interacted with members of the brotherhood, and entire chapters could go by with the only the briefest mention of a woman. There was next to nothing on Annie Miller or Fanny Cornforth, and a couple of other models were mentioned in throw away sentences without us hearing anything else about them.

In addition, I found some of the text muddled, with a person being introduced more than once, or sometimes not explained at all.

I would recommend this is you want to read about the pre-raphaelites in general. But I think you'll be disappointed if you're looking for more information on the women behind them.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pre-Raphaelite Gem, 17 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Wives and Stunners: The Pre-Raphaelites and Their Muses (Hardcover)
This book is an important addition to the library of literature about the Pre-Raphaelites. It's publication comes at the same time as the largest exhibition of Pre-Raphaelite drawings and paintings to be assembled for a quarter of a century, currently at the Tate Gallery.

The book is written in a lively style and portrays the painters and their muses from the earliest years of the P-R Brotherhood, until to the end of the nineteenth century. Through careful research the author brings the artists very much to life. She chronicles their private lives and their tangled love affairs. She helps the reader to see these men and women as flesh and blood; real people caught up in, and living, an artistic and bohemian way of life while led to the production of some of the most outstanding art, literature and design to emerge from the Victorian age.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating read., 4 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Wives and Stunners: The Pre-Raphaelites and Their Muses (Hardcover)
An interesting and entertaining book about a celebrated group of painters and their ladies which brings to life the Victorian period which was so very different from our own. Thoroughly enjoying it.
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Stunning Book, 12 Sep 2012
This review is from: Wives and Stunners: The Pre-Raphaelites and Their Muses (Hardcover)
This is a beautifully written and produced book which brings out the essence of the Pre Raphelite Brotherhood and their lovely women in all their splendour and foibles.A very good read about a marvellous subject
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars DON'T BUY: No images WHATSOEVER in Kindle version, 5 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Wives and Stunners: The Pre-Raphaelites and Their Muses (Hardcover)
There are no images whatsoever in this Kindle book, which is more than a disappointment considering its subject matter. When you add to that the fact that the price of the Kindle version is just 1.20 cheaper than the hardcover (which I can't imagine has no images) and you have what amounts to a total and complete rip off. I'm demanding my money back.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb!!!!, 28 Nov 2013
I chose this book having read (and enjoyed) Desperate Romantics last year. What a great choice! A a really good overview, with just the right amount of depth of the PRB. And a fascinating insight into their muses. The icing on the cake would have been photographs of the paintings that each muse featured in. I bought the kindle version but would love to buy a hard copy with a photo section. (Hope the author reads this!) I wonder if she does lectures in this subject ? Id love to hear about her research. lLoved this book!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wives and Stunners: The Pre-Raphaelites and their Muses, 30 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Wives and Stunners: The Pre-Raphaelites and Their Muses (Hardcover)
A good read with interesting details but half the book was taken up with one wife (and husband) Effie and John Ruskin.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book, 25 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Wives and Stunners: The Pre-Raphaelites and Their Muses (Hardcover)
Reading this after the much loved "Annie", the author's previous biography, was just as enjoyable and deeply interesting. However, it is important to note that this is not a comprehensive scholar work, nor in my opinion did it ever claim to be one; it is a thoroughly fascinating study and the charming style of its author really does a lot in making it a good read.
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Wives and Stunners: The Pre-Raphaelites and Their Muses
Wives and Stunners: The Pre-Raphaelites and Their Muses by Henrietta Garnett (Hardcover - 30 Aug 2012)
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