Tuesday, 22 November 2011

A Tale of Two Illustrations

You must be tired of me saying this, but I'm still hard at work on Stunner 2.0 and this week I managed to get the last of my illustrations sorted.  Two of these have never been published before, so obviously I'm most excited about having them in my book. 

Firstly, I have the pleasure of using this image from the Lyman Allyn Art Museum in New London, Connecticut....

This is a rather glorious pencil, pen and ink sketch of Fanny from the late 1860s, possibly 1867, showing her looking sultry and glorious.  I love the fact that she is wearing her signature earrings, and looks at her 'Stunner' best.  If this does indeed date from after the advent of Alexa and Jane, the picture lends weight to the argument that Rossetti didn't just cast Fanny aside or cease to find her attractive, she remained a part of his art, and for that reason I wanted this little-seen picture to be part of my book.

The second picture is incredibly special.  Many of you will know the work of Raine Szramski and her marvellous pictures of the Pre-Raphaelites, if not take yourself off to Grace Nuth's blog, The Beautiful Necessity immediately! Anyway, I asked the lovely Raine if I could have a Fanny picture for Stunner. Being a classy lass, she didn't take it the wrong way, and she presented me with this....

 I have obviously pledged my undying love to Raine, and will proudly display her gorgeous picture in the upcoming (really, not long now) re-edition of Stunner: The Fall and Rise of Fanny Cornforth (now with added walnuts).

Adding pictures to Stunner, beyond my own photographs, has been a strange experience.  Part of me wants every single picture of Fanny, but in reality I only had £500 to buy a cover illustration and pictures for inside.  Now, I thought that would get me quite a few, but in reality, when certain museums were charging £250+ for a cover image and the average interior picture was £100, I was beginning to despair.  I have to admit that I ended up getting most of my illustrations from America: from Boston, Delaware and Harvard as well as Lyman Allyn, as they gave me such good rates for their gorgeous art.  Thank you to all of them for their fabulous and friendly service and their generosity.

Really, I'm working on it as we speak...I have a visit to a records office on Saturday, then hopefully the manuscript will be ready for proof-reading...


  1. Two great illustrations that will really add to the new version. Really looking forward to it.

  2. Oh my, that pencil and ink sketch is gorgeous. I have never seen that before. Can't wait to read 2.0!

  3. Excited to hear about the book! I'm currently doing some research surrounding digital image sourcing and would love to speak to you further about your experiences if you have a moment.

  4. Madeleine, I have many minutes at your disposal - my email is stonellwalker@googlemail.com. Ask away! :)


Many thanks for your comment. I shall post it up shortly! Kx