Dante Gabriel Rossetti

– Gabriel’s Inferno (01, after first 18 chapter) –

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I surrendered myself to the idea of buying the novel from British Heart Foundation for one pound, after days and nights of consideration and hesitation.

I had googled the novel and given a lot of thought on what extent it would worth my one pound, I want the money to be spent on a book I knew I would read and lost my heart in the duration.

The novel as a matter of fact, was very much beyond me in almost every level.

Firstly I was amazed by the author’s patience on carving Dante’s essence in between the pages, from the whispers between lovers to academic debates. Even there might be questions on accuracy, but having such patience to do so was rather amazing if I may say so.

Secondly I was surprised by the way things went in the pages so far, Gabriel Emerson the Dante Specialist came to scene as a man with bad manners, often found himself in some foul positions. He was also slowly revealed as the pages progressed to be a man with terrible past, the kind of men who you would despice – a jack-ass, basically. Yet he seemed wanting to become better for Julia, a woman who he deemed to be a woman too precious to be contaminated.

Thirdly there were two things I was reminded of, first the relationship between Gabriel and Julia reminded me of Japanese televisions, which often have stories of students falling for teachers (or other way round). The other was Dante Gabriel Rossetti, a man equally obsessed with Dante’s story as Emerson himself. They both deemed their lover to be the muse and salvation, while Emerson tried his best to be honest and earnest to Julia, DGR was very much underserving to Lizzie Siddal for constantly being a magnet for women.

But yes it was only 8 or 9 hours since I bought the book and I already read 18 chapters…As an opinion, I think this book actually worth greater attention compared to 50 Shades of Grey, at least Emerson seemed less abusive compared to Christian Grey.


– After Lizzie –

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Finished reading Lucinda Hawksley’s book on Lizzie Siddal at last,

I believed it took me only three days to finished the book, which by far was quite a fast speed. I would also class it as a good omen, as only books I sincerely liked to bits would be able to achieve such high-flying speed. Normally, I would be slow in reading – from maybe months to god knows how long.

The book captured the key moments of Lizzie Siddal and the world she was in: being asked to model for paintings, associating herself with Pre-Raphaelite painters, having John Ruskin as her patron and of course her turbulent relationship with famous painter Dante Rossetti.

I found the turbulent relationship she had with Rossetti was the most fascinating of the whole book – Lizzie and Dante were both not just headstrong and creative, it was also shown that they have made a habit of abusing each other (Rossetti by affairs, Siddal by emotional blackmail & ill-health) but bounded to each other in either romantically fate, or in a reality side – lack of options for L.S. to freely choose any man to marry and the reputation business. Their possessive nature also caused them great deal of problems, and as a result made work harder to be progressed. There were also notes on difficulties to live in Lizzie’s period, including stigma of suicide, difficulties to give birth to a healthy baby and keep them survived.

But of course their life-consuming love indeed brought them legacy in not just artwork, but for the world to remember as long as they live. Especially Lizzie, her beauty would always be remembered through paintings she modeled, along with the tale of her romance with Dante Rossetti.

p.s. must admit Lucinda Hawksley’s writing not just flown like water, but it would make your gripping onto the book, as there would (was) always something going on in Lizzie’s short life.


(A picture created from a blog. http://preraphaelitepaintings.blogspot.co.uk/2010/11/paul-rainer-elizabeth-siddal-and-dante.html)