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About the book
  • Published: 22 February 2011
  • ISBN: 9781446435137
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 336

Into The Frame

The Four Loves of Ford Madox Brown




A vivid account of the public art and private demons of Ford Madox Brown, the finest but least understood of Pre-Raphaelite artists, and the four central women in his life: his two wives and models and his two secret loves.

Madox Brown, who grew up in France and Belgium before he came to England and won fame with paintings like 'The Last of England', was always an outsider, and the women he loved also burst out of stereotypes. His two wives, Elisabeth Bromley and Emma Hill, and his secret passions, the artist Marie Spartali and the author Mathilde Blind, were all remarkable personalities, from very different backgrounds.

Their striving for self-expression, in an age that sought to suppress them, tells us much more about women's journey towards modern roles. Their lives - full of passion, sexual longing, tragedy and determination - take us from the English countryside and the artist's studio to a Europe in turmoil and revolution. These are not silent muses hidden in the shadow of a 'Master'. They step out of the shadows and into the picture, speaking with voices we can hear and understand.

  • Pub date: 22 February 2011
  • ISBN: 9781446435137
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 336

About the Author

Angela Thirlwell

Angela Thirlwell read English at Oxford and lectured Birkbeck College, University of London until 1999).Her books include the Folio Anthology of Autobiography (1994), The Pre-Raphaelites and their World (editor, 1995) andWilliam and Lucy: The Other Rossettis (Yale, 2003).


Praise for Into The Frame

“[A] beautifully written, emotionally intelligent and finely detailed account... What impresses is how richly informative is this history of individual lives, about the period as a whole, its culture, and material existence”

Frances Spalding, Independent

“Thirlwell has written a moving and absorbing book about Victorian marriage, ambition and unrequited love”

Frances Wilson, Sunday Times

“A humane and intelligent book... an up-close, colourfully detailed study of the interweaving lives and passions of a small group of sophisticated Victorians”

Serena Davies, Daily Telegraph

“Angela Thirlwell is entirely confortable in the world inhabited by the Pre-Raphaelites, and her earlier study of William Rossetti deserved the plaudits heaped on it. Now she has turned to Ford Madox Brown and once again has proved to be an able scholar who turns meticulous research into a seamless narrative.... An excellent account, lovingly narrated and wise in its judgements”

Trevor Royle, Herald

“Compulsively readable... Engrossing”

Times Literary Supplement

“Ford Madox Brown was somewhat overlooked in his own day.....It is pleasant, therefore, to see him receiving his due in this interesting, sideways look at his work via the women in his life”

Spectator

“A carefully researched and sympathetic biography of Brown and the four women he loved... Thirlwell writes with great thoughtfulness and insight”

Economist

“No doubt about it, the Pre-Raphaelites are back... Angela Thirlwell has done much useful research, and we feel we now know Brown better than before”

Brian Fallon, Irish Times

“A fascinating attempt to disentangle [FMB's] tantalising relationships”

Daily Express

“An absorbing book about Victorian marriage ambition and unrequited love”

Frances Wilson, Sunday Times

“Thirlwell’s oblique approach of exploring him through the women in his life is both refreshing and accomplished... The historical context is impeccable, providing a succinct but satisfying sense of contemporary events. As a art specialist, Thirlwell is particularly captivating when describing Madox Brown’s work, leaving me with a desperate urge to view his paintings”

Catherine Pope - Victorian Geek http://blog.catherinepope.co.uk

“No doubt about it, the Pre-Raphaelites are back... Angela Thirlwell has done much useful research, and we feel we now know Brown better than before”

Brian Fallon, Irish Tatler


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