I have all of these and Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood especially is invaluable in the depth of research and the amount of detail given about the lives of the models and muses of our beloved artists. If you want a book of pictures of each of the models (both photos and the paintings) you can't go wrong with Pre-Raphaelite Women, it's where I started my research all those years ago. Her works on Elizabeth Siddal and Jane Morris are flawless and inspiring, which leads me to the point of this post...
The reason I met Jan Marsh last night was I was fortunate enough to attend the book launch for The Collected Letters of Jane Morris at the Society of Antiquaries (which is next door to the Royal Academy) in swanky London town. I know you are never meant to meet your heroes, but I was glad I met Jan because she was wonderful, even when I rather over-enthusiastically hugged her, but it's her own fault for being splendid. I stand by my right to hug anyone I think is brilliant, so you have been warned.
Anyhow, the price of this collection is a little prohibitive to anyone not fortunate enough to be given a review copy, but that's what Libraries are for, so I would recommend you order it as soon as you can and I shall tell you why...
|The Pilgrims of Sienna (1881) Jane Morris is seated centre back|
|Jane Morris c.1900|
|Jane in the hammock, with May beside her and Jenny far right.|
The book is split into sections, each with a bit of biographical detail prefacing it, and each letter has relevant footnotes explaining who people were and why Jane knew them. Dotted throughout the text are black and white photographs and images of the people involved in the letters, which is really helpful, but crowning it all are the gorgeous colour plates, showing some images that I'd never seen before of not only Jane but also May and Jenny.
|May and Jenny at Naworth Castle (1860s) John James Howard|
And I met Jan Marsh.