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A review of Beauty In Thorns by Kate Forsyth

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A spellbinding reimagining of ‘Sleeping Beauty’ set amongst the wild bohemian circle of Pre-Raphaelite artists and poets. 

The Pre-Raphaelites were determined to liberate art and love from the shackles of convention. 

Ned Burne-Jones had never had a painting lesson and his family wanted him to be a parson. Only young Georgie Macdonald – the daughter of a Methodist minister – understood. She put aside her own dreams to support him, only to be confronted by many years of gossip and scandal. 

Dante Gabriel Rossetti was smitten with his favourite model, Lizzie Siddal. She wanted to be an artist herself, but was seduced by the irresistible lure of laudanum. 

William Morris fell head-over-heels for a ‘stunner’ from the slums, Janey Burden. Discovered by Ned, married to William, she embarked on a passionate affair with Gabriel that led inexorably to tragedy. 

Margot Burne-Jones had become her father’s muse. He painted her as Briar Rose, the focus of his most renowned series of paintings, based on…

Alfred Lord Tennyson's Farringford Estate is now open to the public on the Isle of Wight!

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Farringford The Home of Tennyson on the Isle of Wight Image belongs to Farringford Estate 2017 

I just wanted to share a quick post with you all.

On August 23rd, 2017, Farringford, the home of Victorian Poet Laureate, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, officially re-opened to the public after being restored in detail the way it was during the time Alfred Tennyson lived there with his wife Lady Tennyson and two sons Hallam and Lionel Tennyson.
The family occupied the house during the years 1853 up until his death in 1892. They were some of the happiest years spent in the home.

The Tennyson family gardens have been restored as well. The tour includes home and gardens.

According to the Farringford Estate,

"Admission to the house and grounds is PRE-BOOKED TIMED ENTRY ONLY! Tours of the house run twice a day, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., Wednesday to Saturday.

Please call 01983 752500 to reserve your place." 

For more information, please visit the website of Farringford House

Since I live in the Uni…

Book Launch in Australia for Kate Forsyth's Beauty in Thorns!

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My apologies for being away so long. However, my new job is keeping me extremely busy. Besides the fact that I'm moving in six months.

International Author, Kate Forsyth along with Vintage Australia publishing is having a Book Launch following the release of her latest novel, Beauty in Thorns on Thursday, 6 July 2017.

If you are in or near Balgowah, Australia, please stop by Berkelouw Books and help them celebrate!

I will be receiving my copy of Beauty in Thorns very soon, so please expect my upcoming review.

I had a wonderful breakfast with Kate Forsyth in a lovely cafe earlier today. We talked all about her new book, the Pre-Raphaelite artists and muses including her thoughts on their lives, loves and we certainly laughed a lot!


The Pre-Raphaelites were determined to liberate art and love from the shackles of convention.

Ned Burne-Jones had never had a painting lesson and his family wanted him to be a parson. Only young Georgie Macdonald – the daughter of a Methodist minister – …

Lincoln In The Bardo by George Saunders: A Review!

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On February 22, 1862, two days after his death, Willie Lincoln was laid to rest in a marble crypt in a Georgetown cemetery. That very night, shattered by grief, Abraham Lincoln arrives at the cemetery under cover of darkness and visits the crypt, alone, to spend time with his son’s body. 

Set over the course of that one night and populated by ghosts of the recently passed and the long dead, Lincoln in the Bardo is a thrilling exploration of death, grief, the powers of good and evil, a novel - in its form and voice - completely unlike anything you have read before. It is also, in the end, an exploration of the deeper meaning and possibilities of life, written as only George Saunders can: with humor, pathos, and grace.


U.S. Hardcover, 343 pages Published February 14th 2017 by Random House, ISBN  0812995341
Willie Lincoln, 1862, Library of Congress
“(So why grieve? The worst of it, for him, is over.) Because I loved him so and am in the habit of loving him and that love must take the form o…

Emily Dickinson: An American Enigma – Review of I’m Nobody! Who are you? The Life and Poetry of Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) The Morgan Library & Museum, January 20 through May 28, 2017.

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"Who has not found the Heaven below will fail of it above. For Angels rent the house next ours, wherever we remove.” Lovingly Emily (Included in a letter from Emily Dickinson to her niece, Martha Dickinson and friend Sally Jenkins, 1883).
Family meant everything to Emily Dickinson as evidenced through her surviving correspondence hanging on the pink floral wallpaper in the replica period rooms of The Morgan Library exhibition.  Included on the wall, was a small framed engraving of poet, Elizabeth Barrett Browning which turned out to be one of Dickinson’s favorite poets. Framed under glass was the 1848 edition of Currer Bell’s, Jane Eyre. Dickinson borrowed this copy from her father’s business partner, Elbridge Bowdoin. She returned it to him with this note,


“If all the leaves were altars, and on every one a prayer that Currer Bell might be saved and you were God would you answer it?” Bowdoin did not reply to Dickinson, instead noted, “the leaves mentioned were Box leaves sent to …

Currently Reading: Over The Hills And Far Away: The Life Of Beatrix Potter by Matthew Dennison

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US Publication Edition - Advanced Reading Copy Hardcover, 304 pages Expected publication: April 4th 2017 by Pegasus Books  ISBN 1681773503
Beatrix Potter is one of the world's bestselling, most cherished authors, whose books have enchanted generations of children for over a hundred years. Yet how she achieved this legendary status is just one of several stories of Beatrix Potter's remarkable and unexpected life. 
Inspired by the twenty-three 'tales', Matthew Dennison takes a selection of quotations from Potter's stories and uses them to explore her multi-faceted life and character: repressed Victorian daughter; thwarted lover; artistic genius; formidable countrywoman. They chart her transformation from a young girl with a love of animals and fairy tales into a bestselling author and canny businesswoman, so deeply unusual for the Victorian era in which she grew up. 

Embellished with photographs of Potter's life and her own illustrations…

A review of The Reception of Alfred Tennyson in Europe

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