Friday, 16 February 2018

Support Your Local Girl Gang!

Some of you who are on Facebook will have noticed an announcement yesterday which I am very excited about. I have another book coming out!  Huzzah!

On 13th September, the lovely people at Unicorn Publishing will be flinging my book unto the world.  It is entitled...

Pre-Raphaelite Girl Gang: The Makers, Shakers and 
Heartbreakers from the Victorian Era

...and here is the story behind it.

Fanny Cornforth
It's no secret that I have always been determined to tell Fanny Cornforth's story in all its glory.  Part of my utter joy in doing this blog is telling you about how she really wasn't the nut-cracking, illiterate, thieving, lying prozzie she was made out to be, how, in fact, her story enriches our understanding of Rossetti and his art.  The beauty of women like Fanny is that they are part and parcel of the Pre-Raphaelite story and by giving them some respect we can all learn something new, something deeper about art.

Maria Zambaco
But Fanny is just the tip of the iceberg as all the women of the Pre-Raphaelite movement have interesting stories to be told.  Whether they are models, artists, sisters, wives, lovers, embroiderers, sculptors, mothers or a combination of roles, the women tell us so much about the time, the movement and the art, yet have not had the coverage and research of the men, especially if they are thought to have had a lesser role.  

Alexa Wilding
Well, you and I know that something needed to be done about that and so in September this year, Pre-Raphaelite Girl Gang will set you on the path of discovery for all our wonderful Pre-Raphaelite women.  Each of them has a story to tell, filled with triumph, disaster, survival and creativity.  From the famous to the infamous, lady to laundress, their stories will inspire you.

Marie Spartali
Together with original art from contemporary sources, I have the utter delight and pleasure to be working with Kingsley Nebecki, a frankly awesome chap who is doing portraits of our 50 girls, bringing together so much of the essence and aura of each woman in a single image.  His work is beautiful and I'm very excited to see the results.

Elizabeth Siddal
From well-known women like Elizabeth Siddal and Jane Morris to lesser known figures such as Aglaia Coronio and Hetty Pettigrew, all of them have had an impact on Pre-Raphaelite art.  Brief lives to grandmothers, those who spent their lives in pursuit of art to those who flickered in and out of the movement in a moment, I'll tell you all their stories in my own way.  Get ready for laughs and tears and scandalized gasping as I tell you who ran off with a wife-beater, who was made a widow after only a few weeks and who was the victim of a violent stalker.  Ever fallen in love with entirely the wrong man?  Let me introduce you to Anna Blunden, who was certain Ruskin was the chap for her.  Feel underappreciated at work?  The Pettigrew sisters will tell you how to demand a decent wage and make any boss ashamed of paying you less.  These women should be your girl gang because they have all been there, done that, and you know they'll have your back.

For further information, here is Unicorn Publishing's announcement page and I'll bring you further news closer to release day...


  1. Dear Kirsty
    How exciting!
    Best wishes

  2. I'm looking forward to reading this. About 25 years ago, when women's bookstores still flourished, Old Wives' Tales in San Francisco had a book called "The Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood." I do not remember who the author was, but I thought of this when I read your post.

    1. That would be the marvellous Jan Marsh. There are two books by her - one is a biography of the major women of the movement in terms of wives and girlfriends, and the other is a gorgeous picture book about the women and the imagery surrounding them. I thoroughly recommend both and they can be bought fairly cheaply these days from Amazon and Abebooks. Thanks Lemora, I'm looking forward to talking about it more!


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