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Showing posts from February, 2014

My day of research on Alfred Lord Tennyson including his family and friends - Part One

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Alfred Tennyson engraving by F. Hollyer, Housed at The Morgan Library and Museum, NYC
I was absolutely filled with a nervous excitement that I almost forgot what it felt like to be this anxious. I never forget to be grateful when getting an opportunity to visit free of charge with the express intention of doing my own research on a man that I have grown to sincerely love, Alfred Lord Tennyson. I have been researching his life and works since 2011 and this was and is the first time I actually, physically looked upon and held in my own two hands his handwritten letters! My hands were shaking the entire time; hour after hour, I did not stop for a break, even though my stomach rumbled so loudly I thought for sure the two other people quite near me could hear me! I was so nervous I couldn't eat any food that morning. NOTHING...I tried toast but even with the rumbly in my tumbly it was  no use, I just couldn't hold it down! 
One of Alfred Tennyson's letters not kept at The Morg…

Julia Margaret Cameron and her son Henry Herschel Hay

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I just wanted to share a photograph of the nineteenth-century pioneering photographer Julia Margaret Cameron (nee Pattle) with her son, Henry Herschel Hay.

Full-length portrait of Julia Margaret Cameron and her son Henry Herschel Hay Cameron. Julia wears a long dark dress with matching jacket which have decorative ribbon trimmings and a dark fabric veil over her hair. Her son wears a medium-toned suit. They stand close together. Henry’s right arms is around Julia’s waist and her left and is at his right shoulder. There is a dark curtain on the left side of the background. 
 Mrs. Cameron & Her son Henry Herschel Hay by James Brading, photographer; Gernsheim, Helmut, 1913-1995, former owner. circa 1867,  albumen print on card mount, @ Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin 
 A close-up view
Now, I could be mistaken but to me the dress and jacket she is wearing looks…

Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre still inspires ...

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Currently running now at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre in England is what has been described by The Times as 'an improv approach' to a novel written by a young woman who published her story about a young orphaned girl in 1847 under a pen name 'Currer Bell' (CB) known forever as Charlotte Bronte.  Fast forward one hundred and sixty seven years later, where it is now being put on as a theatre production with musical accompaniment by musicians playing offstage. It is not being marketed as  a 'musical' but a theatre play with dialogue set to music. Here in New York City, whether it played on Broadway or Off-Broadway, it might be marketed as a musical.  Either way, it sounds like such a wonderfully produced piece of theatre and I cannot help but wonder what Ms. Bronte would make of all this fuss over her bit of writing!


The Bristol Old Vic's director Sally Cookson explains, "It's chaotic and very, very noisy. There is a medley of voices in different accen…

Paris 1900 anyone?

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If you happen to be going to Paris in April of this year don't tell me I will die of jealousy! Seriously, you must visit Musee des Beaux Arts for their upcoming exhibit, le Petit Palais-Paris 1900 - La Ville Spectacle from 2 April-August 17, 2014.

"The exhibition "Paris 1900 , the City show" invites the public to relive the heyday of the French capital when it hosts the World Expo that opened in the 20th century fanfare . More than ever the city shines in the eyes of the world as the city of luxury and lifestyle . More than 600 works - paintings, art , costumes , posters, photographs , films, furniture, jewelry , sculptures objects ... - immerse visitors Petit Palais in Paris of the Belle Epoque. Technical innovations , cultural effervescence, the elegance of Paris will be staged as many mythologies of the Paris including literature and film have since ceased to convey the image around the world.
"In an inventive set design incorporating the new cinema ov…

The Invisible Woman by Claire Tomalin in film and biography: An impression of Victorianism

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So, let me begin by saying how much I enjoyed the movie, 'The Invisible Woman.' It is a fabulous cast of characters based on mostly recognizable real life nineteenth-century figures. Most notably, Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins. When I first saw the movie, I went with a friend not having read Claire Tomalin's award winning biography beforehand. So many aspects of the Victorian era jumped out at me in terms of place, theme, sights, sounds, clothing, even smells if you believe it!  I am not wholeheartedly a lover of Mr. Dickens as the man he was but in terms of the writer and author well, he is one of the best. However, my heart lies with his friend Mr. Wilkie Collins. I put him first; move over just ever so slightly there Charlie and don't give me that glaring look-you love to be chided! 

At first I was at a loss as how to approach discussing this topic. I mean I don't want to just give my review of the movie because that would be incomplete, wouldn't it? …

A review of Wilkie Collins: A Life of Sensation by Andrew Lycett

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Hardcover: 544 pages Publisher: Hutchinson (12 Sep 2013)  1868, and bestselling author Wilkie Collins is hard at work on a new detective novel, The Moonstone. But he is weighed down by a mountain of problems - his own sickness, the death of his mother, and, most pressing, the announcement by his live-in mistress that she has tired of his relationship with another woman and intends to marry someone else. His solution is to increase his industrial intake of opium and knuckle down to writing the book T. S. Eliot called the 'greatest' English detective novel.

Of Wilkie's domestic difficulties, not a word to the outside world: indeed, like his great friend Charles Dickens, he took pains to keep secret any detail of his ménage. There's no doubt that the arrangement was unusual and, for Wilkie, precarious, particularly since his own books focused on uncovering such deeply held family secrets. Indeed, he was the master of the Victorian sensation novel, fiction that left rea…

Wilkie Collins: A Life of Sensation by Andrew Lycett

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I am currently reading, 'Wilkie Collins: A Life of Sensation' by Andrew Lycett. Just a quick update to let you know that you can expect a full review along with photographs and paintings of Wilkie Collins, his family members and friends including Charles Dickens and various Pre-Raphaelite friends!  I am very excited to meet Mr. Collins and find out more about his life as a man and perhaps the best Victorian era writer of all things Gothic! This is the man who wrote, 'The Woman in White' and 'Moonstone' after all!


Synopsis1868, and bestselling author Wilkie Collins is hard at work on a new detective novel, The Moonstone. But he is weighed down by a mountain of problems – his own sickness, the death of his mother, and, most pressing, the announcement by his live-in mistress that she has tired of his relationship with another woman and intends to marry someone else. His solution is to increase his industrial intake of opium and knuckle down to writing the boo…