Monday, 28 January 2013

Ruth-Less...


As a young, keen Pre-Raphaelite researcher, back in the last century, I turned to the library copies of Virginia Surtees’ Catalogue Raissones of Dante Gabriel Rossetti (2 volumes: one indispensable text volume and one eminently more fun picture volume).  It was from them I learnt about his work, hours of endless pouring over them, photocopying pictures, making notes, and when I came to make the catalogue at the back of Stunner, I added Surtees' numbers.  Of course, these days I go straight to the Rossetti Archive online not least because I can no longer borrow the Surtees catalogues from the library because they are worth hundreds of pounds per volume (our librarian helpfully suggested I asked for them for Christmas, to which I answered that I would be sure to ask my Sugar Daddy for them as she obviously took me for some rich man’s poppet), but the on-line archive also uses Surtees' numbers.  After all this rambling I have to admit that today’s post is not about M’Lady Surtees, but her great grandmother, the Pre-Raphaelite Stunner, Ruth Herbert.

Ruth Herbert (1858) D G Rossetti
Now, I’m guessing you all know Miss Herbert’s name.  She is quite a presence in the history of the Brotherhood.  Rossetti was obsessed with her, Boyce fancied her (Boyce fancied everyone), Watts thought she was a bit swoony, but on the whole she remains on the outside of discussions of Stunnerdom.  Her likeness was present in many a Rossetti sketch, and beside her head he wrote ‘STUNNER’.  So why do accounts of the women in Pre-Raphaelite art remain so, well, ‘Ruth-less’?

Louisa Ruth Herbert was born in Clifton, Bristol in the early 1830s.  Daughter of a Brass Founder, she married Edward Crabb, a respectable share and stock dealer at a young age.  In the 1851 census, she was living with her widowed mother in London, living on their own means.  At some point Louisa had dispensed with her unlucky husband (despite being known as Mrs Edward Crabbe, with an extra 'e') and was treading the boards in London.  She began in the rather more seedy theatres, like the Royal Strand, before moving through The Olympic and up to St James' Theatre. 

Apologies to Bridgeman Art Library for pinching their image...
She was a contemporary of Mary Elizabeth Braddon and when Lady Audley's Secret was adapted for the stage, Ruth gave the defining performance of the damaged Pre-Raphaelite heroine.  By 1856, she was a celebrity, being invited to the best gatherings, a regular at Little Holland House, the home of the influential Prinsep family.  She was noticed for her Pre-Raphaelite appeal early on, as the Illustrated Times wrote 'Ah! If I were Millais I would paint her in my next picture in her pure white silk dress, if I were Munro I could carve a lovely medallion from her profile.'

It took Rossetti a little time to secure her services as a model.  He wrote to William Bell Scott in 1858 "I am in the stunning position this morning of expecting the actual visit at 1/2 past 11 of a model whom I have been longing to paint for years – Miss Herbert of the Olympic Theatre – who has the most varied and highest expression I ever saw in a woman's face, besides abundant beauty, golden hair, etc. Did you ever see her? O my eye! she has sat to me now and will sit to me for Mary Magdalene in the picture I am beginning. Such luck!"

Mary Magdalene at the Door of Simon (1848) D G Rossetti

This is possibly the best known of the pictures of Ruth, tall, blonde, long of neck and striking of features.  Rossetti became utterly bedazzled by her, which must have gone down well with poor Lizzie/Fanny/Annie/Jane, but her position in his life is less 'mistress' (in the mould of Fanny or Annie) but more 'goddess' (in a role that Jane would take up later), a sort of untouchable and awesome beauty, to be captured.  I'm not saying he didn't try his luck, this is Rossetti after all, but he seems to have used her purely as a model of beauty.

Ruth Herbert (1859) D G Rossetti
If you look at the top left of this picture there is a pointing hand and the word 'STUNNER'.  This is a beautiful image of the actress and fairly true to life, if compared with a photo of around the same time...

Again, sorry Bridgeman....

I love the curve of her hair waves, the curve of her neck, the very curve of the woman.  Sigh, she is a stunner... Anyway, Rossetti's relationship with Ruth was such that he included her in one of the more intimate pictures of his private life during this period...

Fanny Cornforth and George Boyce Dante Gabriel Rossetti
While drawing his mistress and his best friend, Rossetti included Ruth in a small portrait on the wall.  He was verily obsessed with Ruth, possibly because they weren't in a relationship so her image was not restrained by reality.  However, seeing that the following image is enough to give anyone pause for thought...

Beauty and the Bird 1858 D G Rossetti
Miss Herbert leans in to blow kisses to a pet bullfinch, sketched after Rossetti had seen her again at Little Holland House.  The image is quite cute and reminiscent of other pictures of women and their metaphoric bird (it's really them in a gilded cage etc etc) but there is a poem that is dated from 1858, during Lizzie's absence from her troublesome lover's life, about a woman and a bullfinch, which is ripe with sexual symbolism.  

For the benefit of Miss Herbert D G Rossetti
Ruth seems to have been the flavour of the month, as Rossetti recorded in this sketch.  The swan-necked actress is surrounded by admiring gentlemen.  The men in question are not flatteringly drawn, and it is suggested that the figure in the background is William Morris.  A 'benefit' was held for Ruth in July of 1858, and Rossetti promoted it, pressing his friends to attend, and it seems at this point the artist saw the actress as the pinnacle of stunner-dom.  

Their friendship survived far longer than I realised, seeing as Rossetti produced this image in 1876...

Head of a Woman called Ruth Herbert (1876) D G Rossetti
I think this image of her could easily be mistaken for Jane Morris, especially given the date, but the hair is too light.  Mind you, comparing the sketches of Ruth as the Virgin Mary in the Llandaff Triptych and the subsequent replacement images of Jane, the two women bore much in common, as far as Rossetti's eye was concerned. As for her life, she married again to an Oxford graduate from Ireland, John Downes Rochfort and actually published a cookery book, 'The St James Cookery Book' under her married name, Louisa Rochfort.  

Ruth Herbert (1858) D G Rossetti
Ruth lived out the remainder of her life in Hove, at 3 Grand Avenue Mansions, living alone with her servants after the death of her second husband in Paris, until she died in April 1921.  Her moment in Pre-Raphaelite art was brief, but her star shone bright.  It seems a shame that in the boiling down and condensing of the chronology of stunners in the 'official' version of events, there is no room for Ruth.  Mind you, anyone wanting to know more will be pleased to know that M'Lady Surtees wrote a book on her great grandmother, available very cheaply from Amazon.  Right, that's going on my wishlist...

Oh look, I found a stunner who lived a long and reasonably happy life.  I may have to go and celebrate...where's my St James Cookery Book?  There must be a cake for such an occasion...

Friday, 25 January 2013

Nevermore!

Today I was actually moved to tears by a poem.  To be honest I am moved to tears on a tediously regular basis (often to do with sloe gin on my cornflakes), but in this case, I was surprised.  It was when I read Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘The Raven’ out loud for the first time.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a Poe virgin, I know his work, especially The Raven, not least because I was brought up reading Joan Aiken’s ‘Mortimer the Raven’ series, but I have studied Romantic and Victorian poetry from secondary school through to a Master’s degree and never once studied Poe in any meaningful way.  It was through Rossetti that I actually sat down and read The Raven out loud (I find I understand a poem quicker if I do that) at which point the crying started.

Rossetti loved the poem very much.  His brother William wrote that as a young man, Rossetti found the poem ‘a deep well of delight’ which is a very interesting point to remember.  Holman Hunt spoke of how Rossetti would recite the poem in their shared studio in the genesis of The Brotherhood and when he and Rossetti were listing their ‘Immortals’ Poe was on the list.  It’s hardly surprising that the young Rossetti would turn his hand to illustrating this beloved poem….

The Raven (1846) D G Rossetti
The Raven was published in the New York Evening Mirror in February 1845.  In June 1846, Rossetti produced the above illustration, making him one of the first people to produce an illustration of the work.  His picture shows a mad flurry of melodrama, with the tiny seraphim skittling across the bottom of the image, swinging their censers around the narrator’s ankles.  Behind him appears the ghostly form of Lenore, the departed beloved of the narrator on whose memory he is brooding.  She appears to be menaced by deathly figures, who are drawing her into the shadows.  On the bust of Pallas Athena on the left of the image perches the Raven, no doubt ‘quoth-ing’.
  
The Nightmare (1781) John Henry Fuseli

Rossetti seems to be strongly influenced by the gothic, Romantic art of the previous era, where spirits and melodrama happen with action and hurly-burly, with the actual forms of the supernatural forces bringing events to a climax.  Rossetti’s narrator is at the whim of external forces who are driving him into madness.

The Raven (1848-55) D G Rossetti
The Raven (1848) D G Rossetti

Other illustrations date from 1848 to the mid 1850s.  The figure of Lenore is gone from the images, but the figures of the seraphim are still present, now grown to human size.  In the 1848-1855 sketch, I think the seraphim who faces the narrator is very reminiscent of the figures in How They Met Themselves and gives a hint to a possible internal explanation of events.  The Raven is a mere smudge in the second image, and not much better defined in the more developed sketch.  It could be argued that the unfinished nature of the works explains this, but another explanation is that the raven, like the seraphim, does not exist.  The raven is no more in the room than the choir of angels, but is instead is a symbol of the narrator’s madness, externalised as a symptom of his declining sanity.

The Raven is an interesting choice for Poe.  Possibly based on Grip the Raven (great name) in Barnaby Rudge, Poe chose him because he had the capacity to mimic speech, like a parrot.  Grip was present to lighten the mood, occasionally by doing little turns, riding a unicycle and playing an accordion (okay, I may have made that bit up).  For a while in The Raven, the bird amuses the narrator, who realises that the bird has only the capacity to say one word, 'Nevermore', which is both his name and his answer to any question.  Knowing this, the narrator asks more and more questions, knowing how it will end.

What does this say about Rossetti?  Could his love of this poem be put down to a ‘goth’ phase when he was a teenager.  We've all been there…

On Bournemouth Beach in 1991 with Cheryl and Sarah, in normal summer attire...
Moving on swiftly.  If all that remained of Rossetti’s love for The Raven were these sketches from his early years then it could be dismissed, but Hall Caine wrote how in September 1881 Rossetti, ailing and declining, repeatedly recited the poem to him.

The Blessed Damozel D G Rossetti

For some, the poem and picture The Blessed Damozel is a comforting response to The Raven, as the darling departed looks down from heaven at her lover from whom she feels eternally separated.  The gentleman who reclines below her looks quite relaxed about the situation (damn him) rather than going slowly round the bed in a library.  However, how about Rossetti’s response to his own Lenore?

Beata Beatrix (1863-70) D G Rossetti
It could be said that Rossetti was trapped in the library beneath the shadow of his raven from 1862 onward.  Certainly, he was unable to remember Elizabeth without considerable pain, and his wallowing in her death is apparent in Beata Beatrix.  It’s easy to see Elizabeth, and Rossetti’s response to her death, in The Raven: his madness, his breakdowns, his table-turning, seeing the spirit of Elizabeth return to him in animals.  You have to wonder if the menagerie was Rossetti’s way of searching for Elizabeth’s reincarnated spirit – you also have to wonder if his inability to care for them properly and their inevitable deaths were just another revisit of Elizabeth’s death.  Certainly his overt grief at the demise of Top the Wombat (left) is a comedic mirroring of his utter bleakness in the face of Elizabeth’s death.

What both Poe and Rossetti knew was that the greatest dangers, the things that will drive you mad and destroy you, are not external, but inside you, just waiting to have the fuse lit.  For Poe, Nevermore the Raven may not even exist, and certainly isn't a prophet of doom or messenger of the afterlife.  The narrator unravels himself before us, rapidly, uncontrollably, and that is what is so upsetting and frightening.  Fanny Cornforth felt that Beata Beatrix was the reason for Rossetti’s madness, constantly confronting him with the night Elizabeth died, but it was really just his Raven.  Like the questions he asked of Fanny when she acted as a medium for him - Was Elizabeth at peace?  Was she happy? Would they be together in heaven? - he already had his answer in his head, loud and clear.

Nevermore.

Monday, 21 January 2013

The Golden Stairs Shine With Tears

I want to clear one thing up right now: I do not, repeat do not own a time machine and further more, I do not travel back in time and ensure that all Stunners lead miserable, short, disaster-ridden lives.  I live in hope of one day finding a model who lives a long, happy life, filled with a loving husband and no disease or anything.

Today is not that day.

The Golden Stairs (1872-80) Edward Burne-Jones
I am slightly obsessed by this picture as so many people are listed as possible models for the descending girls.  Laura Tennant, Frances Graham, May Morris, Margaret Burne-Jones and on and on, I fully expect to read one day that I am supposed to be one of the women (I'm the one with the tambourine).  A name I had not looked into before was Edith Chester.  Like a fool, I looked her up.

Brace yourself.


The actress known as Edith Chester was born on 16 March 1864 in Russia where her father was working in the diplomatic and colonial services (he was also Advocate General of Madras).  She was plain Edith Gellibrand when she took to the stage with her sister Lina, and they both found success.  Edith was not only an actress in comedies and tragedies, she also sang mezzo soprano in light opera. It is likely that she was in her late teens when she was engaged by Burne-Jones as one of his Golden Girls.  She wouldn't be the only actress he engaged, as he used the famous Lillie Langtry for his formidable goddess in The Wheel of Fortune around the same time.  In 1885 she toured briefly in America, and returned to England to marry the improbably named Frank Murray Maxwell Hallowell Carew.

Carew had already been kicked out of the Militia when Edith married him in 1887 and he became some sort of property developer.  The couple were not very happy, not helped by an odd accident in 1888, when a rifle exploded during Carew's big game hunting expedition to Zanzibar.  Yes, really.  He sued the rifle manufacturer and won a £1000.

Two years later, Edith, now sporting the surname 'Chester' as her stage name, began divorce proceedings on the basis of cruelty and misconduct, the misconduct happening mainly with a woman called Mrs Alice Seymour, who looked very much like Edith and who was also an actress.  Apparently their likeness was utilised on stage, and off stage too (she says, raising an eyebrow).  All in all, Carew seems to have been a vile human being, violent and viscous  whose attacks on Edith were listed in the newspaper article on their divorce, including shaking her and punching her while she was pregnant.  He also appeared in the newspapers for threatening a man who insulted his wife, and 'haunting' the theatre for the purpose of 'thrashing' the critic.  What a complicated young man...


It took until 1892 for the divorce to be granted.  Edith described her erstwhile husband as a man "of loose pursuits, who favoured the companionship of prizefighters, frequenters of racecourses and loose ladies who indulged in the midnight amusements of dancing saloons".  Well!  During the divorce proceedings there was some sort of counter claim, citing that Miss Chester had been seen on a Thames House Boat called Ye Marye with a gentleman called  Loftus Earle.  Yes, really. They were sitting close together in terms of 'theatrical friendship'.  Is that what we are calling it now?  Hmmmm....


Anyhow, such a scandalous lie was thrown out and Miss Chester got her divorce.  She then went on to marry Mr Earle.  That's the theatre for you.  They were married in the January of 1894, and were blissfully happy for about 10 months, then she got typhoid and died.  Sorry about that. She left the equivalent of around £72,000 to Mr Earle, which is a pretty tidy sum for a woman of around 30, but really that is no age at all.  She packed a lot in to her short life, two marriages, two kids, a stage career and a messy, newspaper-pleasing divorce.

Damn, wouldn't it be nice if for once I found a Pre-Raphaelite model who didn't snuff it obscenely early, and at least Alexa managed to make it to 37.  Oh well, the search continues...

Friday, 18 January 2013

The Modern Pre-Raphaelite

Recently on the Stunner's Boudoir page on Facebook, I started a list of things that were being called Pre-Raphaelite in the news at present.  This ranged from any actress with red hair through to a pretty footballer and the film Public Enemies (when compared to Ganster Squad, apparently).  It seems like the media has caught hold of the notion of 'Pre-Raphaelite' meaning red, vivid, dreamlike, fairytale, luxurious, bohemian and many other things, and are misusing it with gay abandon.  In someways it is just a by-product of the fact that Pre-Raphaelites are popular again, on the telly, in the galleries, and so using 'Pre-Raphaelite' as shorthand for a pretty girl with red hair will be understood by a lot of people.

However, it has also come to pass that people have started sneaking Pre-Raphaelite imagery into photographs, both overtly and covertly.  This isn't new, for example...

The Bridesmaid (early 20th century) Unknown Photographer
It doesn't take a genius to spot that this is a direct copy of this...

The Bridesmaid J E Millais
What about more recently?  I was surprised at how directly David Bowie had used Rossetti's 1860s work to influence the look of his album 'The Man Who Sold the World'...


I'm really hoping that outfit is in the V&A exhibition of his costumes, it's beautiful.  Talking of musicians, we don't need to go back to the 1970s to find Pre-Raphaelite imagery.  This is a rather Old School image of a certain pop megastar.  When I talk about Pre-Raphaelite Madonna, I don't usually mean this...

Best picture of Madonna, ever.
Apart from the fact that Rufus Wainwright seems to use Pre-Raph styling in his work, one woman who seems to wear a constant Pre-Raph label is Florence Welch (it's the red hair) and this must be the most 'Astarte Syriaca' of her images...


Apart from Bowie's overt use of Rossetti which he acknowledged and aspired to, usually when Florence and her Machine get called Pre-Raphaelite, it is down to her red hair and swirling bohemain clothes.  Of late, there have been some more Pre-Raphaelite images on show in fashion magazines, their pinnacle has to be the Vogue shoot...



Saoirse Ronan, also from Vogue
Stephanie Pina, from the amazing Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood site was kind enough to send me the edition of Vogue with all the Pre-Raph style in it and it is gorgeous, if only I was allowed to go around dressed like that all the time without being looked at funny.  Mind you, that might not be the clothes...moving on...

There is endless Pre-Raphaelite inspired photograph online at present, some better than others.  There is a complete book you can buy for Kindle on the subject:


This was one of the first things I bought for my Kindle, it's not that much money and some of the pictures are truly inspired.  I love the version of Found that graces the cover, plus Pandora which shows a rather handsome young man in a robe with the box in his hands.  I enjoyed playing with modern versions of the pictures for the competition last summer, and it is clear that others have had similar fun.

Grand Marnier Advert by David Scheinmann
Clare Chong for Nylon September 2007
When you know the visual cues it's obvious that images of enormous beauty can be created that work on a number of different levels: The image is beautiful, undoubtedly, but also for people who know and love Pre-Raphaelite art, the image references a set of ideals, a dream shared across a century and more, a notion of perfection shared by men and women in 1850 and 2013 in a sort of unity and accord that is hard to fathom.

The reason for my meander through this subject is this picture, stumbled across in the National Portrait Gallery yesterday...

Like a Painting (2005) Miles Aldridge
This astonishingly gorgeous image is of the model Lily Cole, who has of course been labelled 'Pre-Raphaelite' because of her red hair and fragile, child-like beauty, so it is possible that the poor girl would look Pre-Raphaelite whatever she did, without even trying...

Lily pops round to Tesco...
Lily puts her wheelie bin out on a Tuesday evening...













Well, you get the idea.  The thing I adore about Like a Painting is the butterflies, fluttering around her, like Venus Verticordia, settling on her like The Blind Girl.  The sort of side-on, three-quarter portraits of women remind me of things like this...

Juliet J W Waterhouse
...and the whole effect is utterly stunning.  There is a definite pleasure in seeing a Pre-Raphaelite photograph, like sharing a joke, feeling that a work of art has been created for your own pleasure in a world of things that don't seem to apply to you.  If you are anything like me (and I assume you are, and we are all fabulous, obviously) many images of modern times, the adverts, the fashion, the visual culture of modernity, just don't connect to me. I don't read women's magazines because I don't feel they have anything to offer me, I am useless with adverts as they don't appeal to me (apart from the one with the dog and his friend the rabbit, that's ace), but if they ever attach a product to that image of Lily Cole, I'd be putty in their hands.  I'd buy what ever she's selling because that image is astonishing.

I am going to start a rumour that Madonna's next album will consist entirely of Christina Rossetti's poems set to music.  If we repeat it enough I'm sure it will come true, and she already has her 'look' sorted for the album...

Oh, and I'd buy it.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

500 Images? Yes Please and Thank You...

When I was a teenager, at the very start of my Pre-Raphaelite passion, I wanted a nice general book on the art movement, a gateway to the Brotherhood...














For me, that was in the form of Timothy Hilton's 1970 classic The Pre-Raphaelites published by Thames and Hudson, which was on sale in the Waterstones on my summer school campus.  I stand by that book as my base-camp for exploring the lovely Brotherhood, but it is a product of its time and many of the illustrations are in black and white.  While Laurence des Cars and Francisca Garvie's Pre-Raphaelites: Romance and Realism is colour and marvellous, it is small, pocket sized, which is handy but not if you want a good wallow.  So, enter one of my Christmas presents this year...


The lovely Miss Holman (Resting Ninja) bought it for me from my Amazon Wishlist, although she was slightly puzzled by why I would want such a general book.  Now while I did not expect to be told anything new (yes, I am that arrogant, get me) I was very interested in how the information was to be organised, and how that might be of use to me in my work.  And I was not disappointed.

Study for the Head of Mariana (1851) J E Millais
The book is chronological, split down into sections which make understanding who did what and when a lot easier.  I appreciated keeping the introduction, the context in which the Pre-Raphaelites grew up, to a scant two pages because it meant getting on with the action all the quicker, but possibly for academic clarity this should have been expanded.  Mind you, there in lies the rub - this is not the book to study for the words, this is a book for those who know the story but want it visually spread before you.

A Wife J E Millais

The Brotherhood (or at least the 'big three') kick it all off and you get a 17 page gallop through Millais' life from birth to death, coupled with 38 pictures.  Millais isn't my major passion so I managed to find pictures I hadn't seen before, like the above study for Mariana (gorgeous) and The Wife, and it was interesting to see his life and career condensed down.


Moving on to Rossetti, and he gets an extra couple of pages, reflecting his continued Pre-Raph status (unlike Millais who went all popular).  If you imagine entire, enormous books are written on Rossetti's life, then to pack his life and art into 19 pages isn't bad, and Robinson does cover an awful lot of ground, if superficially.  There are little blue boxes of text that cover specific subjects, such as the Grosvenor Gallery, Kelmscott Manor and Chelsea, so if you are dipping in and out you can take what you want.

Mrs Sarah Wilson, the Artist's Sister  W H Hunt
Holman Hunt get similar treatment, as it gallops through his life from birth to death, via double marriage to sisters (scandal!) and Holy Land.  I didn't realise that Hunt had proposed to other women, who had politely declined, including Julia Jackson (Virginia Woolf's mum).  Hunt's psychotropic works are designed to be seen in technicolour and so it is good to see so many of them here including Christ Among the Doctors, which you don't tend to see in books.

Christ Among the Doctors (1887) W H Hunt
Following the Brotherhood comes Madox Brown, Burne-Jones and most interestingly, John William Waterhouse. Some people are put together like Charles Collins and Arthur Hughes, and John Ruskin and William Morris, which I'm not sure are appropriate partnerships.  'Minor Pre-Raphaelite Artists' covers various painters in a few paragraphs.  These include Collinson and Stephens, who were founders of the PRB, so it seems a tad unfair that they get only a later mention.

Part Two is entitled 'The Gallery' and covers the chronology of the art, rather than the personalities behind it. This way you can see that these two paintings were done the same year...

Convent Thoughts C Collins
Mariana J E Millais













Okay, you probably aren't shocked by that, both come from 1851.  How about these two...?

Danae  (1888) E Burne-Jones
Oh come on, I'm not labeling this (1888)












As the time rolls on, you begin to see how different works cross paths, and how artists who you would not normally think of together (especially if you are organising a big exhibition on Pre-Raphaelitism, apparently) existed together, working to the same ends.

Interestingly, the book ends with the end of the nineteenth century, with works like Hunt's Lady of Shalott and Waterhouse's The Awakening of Adonis. Gosh, I love that picture, hang on...

The Awakening of Adonis (1899) J W Waterhouse
Yes please and thank you, I could look at that all day, but I think Mr Waterhouse would have something to say about continuing into the twentieth century.  I think Eleanor Fortescue Brickdale might have something to say as well, oh and Byam Shaw.  Mind you, EFB might not have received a mention anyway as ladies are a little thin on the ground.  Poor old Lizzie Siddal does not even get a mention beside her posing.  Some of the information is a little old fashioned (yes, all the stuff about Fanny is 'fat prostitute') and some of it is just wrong - apparently, Alexa Wilding sat for Burne-Jones' Blessed Damozel (which he painted before he or even Rossetti met her).

Dream of Sardanapalus (1871) Ford Madox Brown
On balance, if you know your stuff, this is a good book because it helps with context and gives you a look at some less familiar pictures in glorious colour.  There are lots of chalk sketches, preparatory drawings and different versions of well-known works.  It all clocks in at less than £20, which is a bargain.  The Pre-Raphaelite book market is getting pretty packed these days and you would think that such a general book would have very little extra to offer to the field, but this is a pretty decent offering that makes the effort to break things down and put things in context.  Plus, if that doesn't work for you, there is always The Awakening of Adonis.

Ah, Adonis...