Fanny Cornforth was a Victorian supermodel whose face epitomised the vision and life of the Pre-Raphaelite artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti. In their twenty-five years together, she played many parts from muse, medium and lover to housekeeper and nurse. Due to her care of the artist, he was able to create some of the best known and celebrated art works of the nineteenth century, however at his death Fanny became an outcast, accused of stealing, lying and even murder. Her journey from rural poverty to celebrated beauty gave her a life she could never have dreamed of, but her choice of love above security saw her end her days in an asylum. Her afterlife, in the imagination of those who knew her and those that followed saw her cast as a villainess; Rossetti’s folly, an illiterate prostitute who could crack walnut shells in her teeth. It’s finally time that the truth is separated from the swirl of lies and that the life of one of the most infamous women of Bohemian London is told, from canvas to asylum.
Stunner: The Fall and Rise of Fanny Cornforth (revised edition) is available from Unicorn Publishing now.