Telyn's Reviews > Effie: The Passionate Lives of Effie Gray, John Ruskin and John Everett Millais

Effie by Suzanne Fagence Cooper
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's review
Dec 03, 11

bookshelves: art, biography
Read from October 12 to November 17, 2011

Comprehensive but uninspired biography of Effie Grey, the wife of art critic John Ruskin and artist John Everett Millais. The author's research is impressive, but she has a tendency to paraphrase rather than quote directly from her sources, which is infuriating when she uses letters as her source, as one would much rather read it in letter-writer's original words, rather than summarized and restated by the author. There is, however, a wealth of material presented here, and it is a fascinating book for anyone interested in the Pre-Raphaelite painters.

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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by Betty (new)

Betty Gah! I hate it when author's take that kind of liberty with other people's words. Wasn't Effie the woman who's husband was repulsed on their wedding night by her having pubic hair instead of being all smooth like a classical statue?

Telyn That's the one. She had nerve and determination and got an annulment at a time when such a thing was almost unheard of. When the scandal died down, she had a long and happy marriage and lots of children with her first husband's former protege, the painter John Everett Millais.

message 3: by Betty (new)

Betty I'd like to check her out...I'll have to look for this one. :)

Telyn Emma Thompson is currently making a movie about her. I'm hoping it will be good! I recommend "Mrs Ruskin in Venice" for a sample of Effie Gray's actual letters. She was an excellent letter writer and they are lots of fun to read.

message 5: by Betty (new)

Betty Oh, really? Well, that would be cool. I love that sort of thing! :D

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